Posted: Fri 1st Mar 2024

Cardiff Shop Owner Calls for Parking Solution to Replace Flooded Rain Garden /

A Cardiff shop owner said he wants a rain garden on his road, which he said keeps flooding and driving business away, turned into parking.
Qasim Din, who runs 8 Till Late on Tudor Street, said footfall to his business has halved since work started on transforming the busy Cardiff road.
The shopkeeper is not against all rain gardens on the street, but he said turning the one outside his shop into additional parking will help boost his and other businesses which are already grappling with high energy costs.
Cardiff Council said the rain garden outside Qasim’s shop isn’t working properly because people keep parking cars and delivery vans on it.
There is also a loading bay nearby, but Qasim said this is not big enough for the needs of businesses on the street.
Qasim, 37, said: “Really, there is just nowhere else to park. That is the biggest problem.
“The rain gardens, they are okay in concept, but they are not all working. This one in particular in front of our store has completely failed.”
A rain garden is a patch of earth that usually contains grass, flowers and other plants and is designed to absorb surface run-off water after periods of rainfall.
As part of the £5m transformation of Tudor Street in 2021, a new segregated cycle path was installed along with a number of rain gardens along both sides of the street.
Qasim said his shop used to contribute to maintaining the rain garden opposite by picking up litter, but he said that stopped once they started finding used needles there.
Every time it rains, the garden becomes waterlogged, according to Qasim, who said: “It is absolutely disgusting. It is horrible to look at.
“I have got a bad feeling that the worst is to come when the summer comes. If it starts getting hot… if it starts smelling, that is going to be disgusting right in front of the shop.
“It is already filled with litter and rubbish and horrible things. It is bad.”
The shop owner said people had been parking along Tudor Street for decades to do a quick shop before it was transformed.
“It worked,” he said. “People pulled over and went into the shops, bought their things and [left].
“A couple of minutes, that is all we need. If a customer pulls over, gets milk and bread and then shoots off in their car, now all of a sudden that little tiny spend is gone.
“If you multiply it by 10, multiply it by 20, 50 times a day that whole revenue is just gone.”
Further explaining the issue, Qasim said popular items that are bought from the shop include large bags of rice and flour which can weigh up to 20kg – items he said are too heavy to get while on foot.
The shop is also a parcel service hub, with couriers like Amazon, DPD, UPS and Yodel operating there.
However, he said DHL wishes to take the shop off its list because of the lack of parking.
In response to the council’s statement which says people have been parking on the rain garden outside 8 Till Late, Qasim said: “Okay yes, that is why this one has failed, but they are going into it because they are desperate to park.
“My cash machine people… when they come to fill the machine with money, they will cancel drops because if they can’t park close by – it is not secure or safe enough for them to walk a couple of blocks to be able to come and fill the machine.
“The [rain garden] across the road, that one has failed as well and nobody has parked in there.”
Extending the loading bay to include the rain garden outside his shop would increase the number of parking spaces from four to at least seven, according to Qasim.
A petition calling on the council to carry out the proposal has so far gained 104 signatures.
He added: “Shops have to deal with so many problems like theft, drugs and things like that. The lack of parking is such a big problem as well.
“All we are asking is just solve this one problem for us. Give us a little bit of parking and we will be happy.”
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “The council has invested significantly into Tudor Street through a recent regeneration scheme and rain gardens play a critical role in managing surface water drainage and are a requirement set out by Welsh Government.
“All rain gardens in Cardiff are designed to absorb water through specific soil and planting, which removes pollutants, so the water can be discharged away from the main sewer and treatment station, saving time and money.
“The rain garden in question has been severely damaged by people parking their car and delivery vans on top of it, so is not working correctly.
“The council is taking steps to fix the damaged engineering, put in new plants and install signs so people understand what rain gardens do.
“New bollards will be put in place to stop people parking in these areas.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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