Well it seems that, despite bikers’ petitions and protest ride, together with pleadings from the local businesses, the council has approved the implementation of parking charges together with limited duration of stay for those parking on the parade in Matlock Bath.
So after all these years of internationally known tradition, the council is now presiding over the execution of the town as happened in the Norfolk resort of Hunstanton some years ago.
In that case the bikers all went away and formed new associations with other venues like Cromer and Wells.
Businesses in Hunstanton were crippled and a year or so later the local council was falling over itself to try and woo bikers back.
How successful that has been I do not know but from experience I know that once tourists have had a bad experience or been shunned, they are unlikely to forgive or forget.
So, in place of long standing tradition, visiting bikers, who provide all that free eye candy to bring in other visitors, will have to pay to display their bikes and move them every few minutes as there will be limited stay times.
Are they going to do that ? Of course they won’t, and I have suggested to a number of Midlands groups of riders that now is the time to ask for another Derbyshire town to step forward in offering free, unlimited on-street parking, together with enough coffee and tea and a limitless supply of chips. Clearly any local businesses will be rejuvenated — jackpot.
Perhaps you, as Derbyshire’s premier newspaper, could suggest this? It would be interesting to see how many towns respond.
Meanwhile, RIP Matlock Bath.
John F. Judson
& Ann Judson
Long time bikers