Town Survey results are in! In Kent we hate potholes but think loos and streets are clean!
By 28Maz28 | Thursday, April 05, 2012, 21:24
The Town Survey results are in - and thank you to everyone who took part in the poll here on Tonbridge People.
Tonbridge People think streets are clean but too pitted with potholes.
The headliine news that came out of the polls that took place nationally across the Local People sites is this:
BUT TRANSPORT AND PARKING STILL LETTING TOWNS DOWN.
In Tonbridge in particular the news is that cleanliness of the streets is something we pride most (this is across Kent, in fact) as is the state of
TTown Survey, conducted by localpeople.co.uk, polled over 5,000 locals across our network of 165 community sites to find what the nation thinks of their towns. Whilst London's transport and roads have been bolstered by a £6.5bn investment ahead of the Olympics, locals across the country feel their roads are plagued with potholes.
The Town Survey also reveals locals are restricted by poor public transport and parking that can't keep up with an increasing dependence on cars to get around behind the growing appeal of free parking in out of town shopping centres. On the flip side, this hasn't dampened English pride as localpeople.co.uk reveals the 'local hero' remains alive and kicking.
WHAT ARE WE ANGRY ABOUT?
Most concerned about parking: Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Yorkshire
Most let down by public transport and reliant on their cars: Somerset, Staffordshire, and Wiltshire
Areas where locals feel potholes are a strong issue: Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey
WHAT ARE WE PROUD OF?
Choosing to shop local and support enterprises on their High Street: Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and Kent
Proud of their town's appearance: Dorset, Lancashire, Hertfordshire and Staffordshire
Happy with the cleanliness of their streets and public loos: Buckinghamshire, Kent, Surrey and Kent
Feel their children have enough play areas: Devon, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Surrey
Lee Williams, General Manager localpeople.co.uk says, "Having polled the nation, localpeople.co.uk proves that despite some grievances, the majority of locals are backing their towns and neighbours. By choosing to shop local, residents are prioritising independent retailers in tough times. However, Local Authorities should take heed that limited transport and parking will only serve to hinder potential retail growth on the High Street as they force shoppers out of town."
Transport & Parking
In the first poll of its kind, two in five [39%] of locals nationwide revealed poor public transport in their area has made them dependent on their cars to get about.
Dependence on cars has also prompted one in five [16%] locals to feel their roads are gridlocked with traffic as locals in Dorset[21%], Kent [33%] and Surrey [28%] put traffic high on the list of biggest problems in their town
Diane Wehrle, Research Director at Springboard, said: "Car parking has long been an issue for town centres. Whilst towns have promoted initiatives to restrict parking in recent years to create an attractive environment for visitors, they have failed to maintain sufficient capacity, at the right price, to ensure towns are accessible to all. Footfall in town centres has declined by around 20% over the last five years, which can in part be explained by the availability of free and plentiful parking at out of town shopping locations. Holistic strategies are required for town centres that integrate parking with other town management strategies so that the appropriate balance is achieved."
Spokesperson for the British Parking Association says, The BPA appreciates the importance of appropriate parking provision and its effect on the vitality of the high street. It is important to remember that, when making parking choices, it is not just price that is considered by car park users; they also take into account quality, convenience, safety and accessibility of the destination. The BPA is committed to ensuring there is effective communication with the public to ensure they understand parking regulations, why car parking often has to be charged for, how to appeal against parking tickets and also how to park considerately and sensibly.
The Town Survey conducted by localpeople.co.uk reveals independent retailers are reveling in resurgence of interest as a fifth [21%] of locals are choosing to shop on their doorstep. Independents now have an unprecedented to lure leverage this appetite for shopping in their towns and help boost their economy. This is particularly true for towns in Gloucestershire [37%], Buckinghamshire [35%] and Lincolnshire [28%].
The Town Survey conducted by localpeople.co.uk reveals not all towns are convinced that more independents can save the High Street, as backed by the Government. In fact, one in ten [11%] shoppers prescribe more chain-stores as the remedy particularly for locals in Cambridgeshire [31%], Nottinghamshire [22%] and Leicestershire [21%].
A further one in five [22%], mostly shoppers from Staffordshire [50%] and Wiltshire [34%] believe a lack of variety and increasing numbers of empty shops are forcing them to out-of-town shopping centres in search of a better retail mix.
Clare Rayner, Retail Expert says: "In times of austerity there appears to be a trend toward "shoppinglocal"; cash-strapped consumers preferring to support their community, and spending their limited cash with businesses they can relate to and who offer great service. Consumers are thinking about what they spend, and who they spend with. The rise of independents in the wake of the fall of many multiples is evidence of what will be a long-term and sustained shift in consumer preferences. Gone are clone towns, consumers have voted with their feet, local people want a relevant, local, engaging and inspiring shopping experience."
A strong sense of English pride in towns nationwide was a strong theme to come out of the Town Survey conducted bylocalpeople.co.uk. Bin men and road sweepers can hold their heads high as only one in seven [14%] locals believe streets in their town could stand to be cleaner. Interestingly, England is potty about our public loos for all the right reasons, as only a meagre 4% wish they were cleaner.
Helen Bingham, Campaigns Manager, Keep Britain Tidy says: "We're very encouraged by the poll's findings showing that locals across England are proud of where they live and want to keep their areas clean and tidy. Keep Britain Tidy's Love Where You Live campaign supports towns by inspiring, encouraging and enabling locals to make where we live, work and play the kind of place we really want it to be. However, we need to stay vigilant. Over 30 million tonnes of litter are still collected from our streets every year, costing council tax payers £885 million a year to clean the streets of England. Those figures need to come down if we are to keep our communities clean and tidy."
Many thanks to Kol Tregaskes for the lovely pic of Tonbridge Castle from Flickr
PLEASE VOTE IN OUR NEW POLL ON ST GEORGE'S DAY