YET more “groupthink” on charging for parking: “We’re short for our budget this year. Where can we increase parking charges to make up the shortfall?”

The trouble with “groupthink” is it can have unintended consequences e.g.

1) When you have to pay to park on the road by the Beachcomber café the customers that used to stop off for a coffee and cake and enjoy the view and sea air for a few minutes, throughout the day, go somewhere else. That fall in business makes the café no longer viable.

It closes. The other businesses nearby also now become no longer viable and they also close. The income from the car park where longer stay drivers pay to have a more leisurely meal falls off a cliff. Further down the line the buildings become derelict and no development is possible because of the unstable cliffs.

The council has now lost income from the car park, business rates, council tax from the workers who have moved away or are now unemployed; and will have considerably more expense supporting the unemployed, maintaining an under used car park, and managing a derelict building.

The budget shortfall just got bigger.

2) Question: Why is Bournemouth town centre dying whilst Castlepoint, Christchurch and Southbourne are thriving?

Answer: You can park in Castle Point, Christchurch, and Southbourne.

3) Recently hash marks have been painted to mark out parking bays on the landward side of Boscombe Overcliff Drive. Before they were painted mobile homes and large vans never used to park there although there was nothing to stop them.

I suspect that was because the drivers were making judgements about obscuring the view of drivers turning onto overcliff drive from all the roads linking it to Wentworth Avenue. Now they are assuming it’s safe to park there as the hash marks give them permission.

How many people have to be killed or seriously injured before the council put signs on the existing posts showing the spaces are only for cars and motorbikes? Not a huge expense, surely less than potential damages because a proper risk assessment has not been made.

Perhaps it’s time to remember the three laws of unintended consequences:

1) If it’s working leave it alone.

2) If it’s not broken don’t fix it.

3) If it can go wrong it will go wrong.

Terry Humphries

Boscombe Overcliff Drive