TruthFal’s Aiden Nulty looks into the commotion over new parking meters being introduced in Falmouth. Is it really that big an issue?


Cornwall Council are planning on introducing on-street pay and display parking meters on some streets in Falmouth and Penryn. The proposal has been received negatively and received a backlash from local residents, with a petition opposing the meters receiving over a thousand signatures. What’s all the fuss about?

Some residents are aggravated over the prospect of having to pay £50 a week for parking outside their homes and there have also been claims that the meters may affect tourism in the area.

After some quick calculations, £50 a year amounts to an annual sum of just over 13p a day for parking. If I saved an entire week’s expenditure on paying the meter I would save myself the neat sum of 91p. I’m hoping Poundland is planning a 10% sale sometime soon.

Tourism is Falmouth’s lifeblood. Cornwall offers the best weather in the UK, stunning beaches, a vibrant food scene and only requires a quick trip down the A30 to reach these shores. I don’t think John and Stacey from Manchester’s annual pilgrimage to the Duchy for a two-week holiday is under threat because they will have to pay to park on a handful of streets.

On social media platforms, some Falmouth residents have claimed that tourists already say how dreadful the parking is down here, without adding in the problem of parking meters.

I reckon tourists understand that this is Cornwall, with small seaside towns and villages, narrow streets and minimal car parks, and in the summer it gets busy here. It’s never stopped them coming before and it’s not going to stop them now, meters or not.

I often hear claims of friction between the ‘’natives’’ of the Falmouth & Penryn area and the ‘’immigrating’’ students of both Falmouth and Exeter Universities.

The habit of students parking their cars on roads, or outside people’s houses and not moving them, has got on locals’ nerves. This usually occurs due to students being too skint to afford fuel, resulting in 1990s Volkswagen Polos with Vans and Sessions stickers on the rear window littering the landscape and potential parking spaces. The meters will probably act as a deterrent to this situation.

Occupants in the areas that may be affected by the meters have to remember that the spaces they have been parking their cars in don’t actually belong to them and the council has every right to implement these plans.

Moves like this one from Cornwall Council are always going to end up annoying someone and I can’t see a win-win situation arising from this. But to those who are kicking up a fuss about this, maybe it’s time to park the negativity…