A council accused of being ‘useless’ after keeping part of a town centre car park shut over Easter weekend has defended its decision.
Abingdon shoppers visiting the town’s Charter multi-storey car park were welcomed with a notice lamenting the closure of the top two levels.
The Broad Street car park, run by Vale of White Horse District Council, has two hours free parking Monday to Saturday but its upper levels are closed on Sundays and bank holidays.
On Good Friday, Bury Street shop The Gifts and Gallery tweeted: “Commercially clueless council has shut the car park again! Our customers cannot park… what century are we in!??”
The tweet contained a picture of the poster, which was stuck to the car park entrance sign. It is not known who put the notice up.
Town councillor and former mayor Angela Lawrence said she would like to see fewer people using cars to get in and out of Abingdon.
She said: “We keep complaining to the planning authority that you can’t give planning permission to eight flats when there are only four residential spaces because they then fill up the public car parks.
“If you live in London or Oxford you can find ways of people not needing to own a car, but in a place like Abingdon that’s not going to work.”
Cllr Lawrence added that a “vocal few” were “disgruntled about Abingdon’s shops” but the council does all it can to “promote town centre vitality”.
She added: “They go on about it being so much better at Didcot and Witney, but we do have some very nice shops in Abingdon that open for a year and end up closing because people don’t use them.”
Responding to the criticism, a spokesperson for the Vale told the Guardian: “There is plenty of car parking space in Abingdon to meet demand during a bank holiday.
“The upper levels of the multi-storey are shut on Sundays and bank holidays – as clearly stated on the signage, however level one and two remain open and there are six other district council car parks nearby within easy walking distance of the town centre.”
Town retail and town centre development will be discussed at a public meeting on Monday in the Guildhall Roysse Room at 6pm.