The new system to discourage cars from entering the historic center carries immediate fines that can “suffocate” shops. Video surveillance starts in January
In the count down to activate license plate recognition cameras in the historic center of Castellón, in order to limit vehicle access through pedestrian streets to residents and people who work in the area, merchants they ask the City Council for help. Â «It is necessary that they are aware of the ‘suffocation’ that the merchants of the old town are already suffering so that they are going to fine our suppliers, our customers and ourselves if we access our stores outside the authorized hours,» they warn.
This is how Teresa, from La Cambra dels Vins, in Caballeros street, pleads with the Fadrell agreement Â «make more flexibleÂ» surveillance, after having lived a Â «ordealÂ» since the activation of the bollards in the days of the PP, since Â «they have gotten to fry me with finesÂ» for having to access your store outside the loading and unloading schedule and thinking that from January Â «it will be worse yetÂ» because the detection of a vehicle in a pedestrian street will be immediate.
Â «Not everyone can unload or pick up bulky orders between 8.00 and 11.00 hoursÂ», add the small entrepreneurs in their expressed dismay to EL MUNDO. Thus, the replacement of the retractable pivots with a video surveillance system that allows to sanction the unauthorized vehicle immediately, is born with controversy.
To date with bollards, merchants swiped their card through the authorization reader each time they needed to access pedestrianized streets with limited vehicle traffic. They have also been allowing the entry of suppliers or customers “when necessary.”
According to the government team, it is a “picaresque” situation that has multiplied the presence of unauthorized cars in the pedestrianized perimeter, reason that has led the members of the tripartite (PSPV, CompromÃs and Podem-EUPV) to change their surveillance system to deter drivers.
However, the merchants reject the accusation of deception. Â «It is not picaresque, it is a need of the small local business to surviveÂ», adds another businessman Â «one of those of a lifetimeÂ» from an Enmedio street that Â «you are seeing too many commercial premises close down and become disusedÂ». They ensure that the blinds are not only a consequence of the economic crisis generated by Covid-19, but also due to Â «the null municipal sensitivityÂ» and that the license plate identification cameras will be the last straw for their Â «businesses in free fall.
The complaint and concerns of the small business in the historic center you have been elevated by this newspaper to the government team, without having received a response.
At the moment it is known that when presenting the new device, from the City Council they assured that those who had authorization to date, will be able to continue circulating on the streets whose access was limited by the bollards. However, they will have to identify their license plates before the consistory to facilitate traffic and avoid the â € œdeceptionâ € of passing a card when accessing a vehicle other than the authorized one.
Not only commerce suffers consequences derived from mobility restrictions in pedestrianized areas. The Caixa Castell Foundation It has explained, to questions from EL MUNDO, that it has asked the City Council to consider Â «solutions to exceptional situations such as those that the institution often faces. Its suppliers, the companies that move the pieces for an exhibition in the Sala San Miguel or the theater companies or children’s entertainment with shows in the Quatre Cantons Building, need access to the middle street to download your montages in the afternoons on most occasions.
So far, the foundation must submit a lengthy processing and payment of fees 10 days before the material arrives, requesting the access permit and, therefore, so that the suppliers’ vehicles are not fined.
The farmers can only supply us in the evenings
The manager of the ecological store Saber Cuidarse, located on Caballeros street, speaks also of Â «suffocating the small business in the historic center, in relation to the strict restrictions that the installation of cameras will take to control and avoid the circulation of vehicles through the center of Castellon.
Rosana Miliain warns that the limitation of the loading and unloading hours (from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.) greatly complicates the activity of her business with which she intends to bring local products closer to homes. The farmers who supply us are in the orchard in the morning and can only bring us the products during the afternoon, so before the surveillance circuit is activated and in anticipation of the fines to which farmers may face for accessing the store outside the established hours, asks the City Council for “flexibility to continue working.”
Rosana urges the government team to raise Â exceptionalism as in her case, both for the farmers who provide her with the organic products in bulk that she sells and can only unload during the afternoon, and for the clients who come to collect their car purchases and that, normally, they are working during the morning.
She herself fears facing penalties as she provides home delivery service. Â «I offer the free service of taking the purchase home for an amount greater than 20 euros and, therefore, Â «I have to park the car in front of the store to load the boxes, which can lead to fines.
In his opinion, council should be aware of the problems that surveillance cameras will generate and a flexible. Otherwise, understand that the new municipal measure will be a sum and it goes on.
Thus, Rosana fears that the cameras are going to be the last straw to a situation of progressive Â «abandonment of the historic center by the council. Most commercial low-income houses are now only looking for rent for a colla to enjoy the Magdalena.