Traders want shoppers to pay just £1 to park in this town centre after 1pm
Written by The Newsroom on June 6, 2019
Traders are calling for a £1 parking scheme to be extended by an extra two hours – to boost footfall in a town centre.
Parking across Newcastle town centre’s council-owned car parks currently costs just £1 after 3pm, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.
And there are now calls for the £1 charge to come in after 1pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
It comes as some traders are calling for parking charges to be scrapped altogether.
Carl Thorley, who owns Curley’s Barbers, said: “Parking should be entirely free. The town is dying and the council needs to spend a bit of money here.
“Free parking would encourage more people to come shopping and when you pay to park your car you end up clock watching. You can’t just nip in for a coffee – you go to the shop and go home.
“If parking was free then I’m sure people would stay. If I drove to Newcastle, paid to park, and then found out the town was empty, I wouldn’t be happy.”
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Alex Hewitt, owner of E-lectric Avenue, in Astley Walk, also supports the idea of free parking.
He said: “The council asked me about moving the time to 1pm last year and I’m all for it. One of the main complaints I get is about parking and hopefully it will be more likely to bring people into the town centre.
“We have plenty of places to park in Newcastle but it seems to be the price. The parking is there and we have people on the side streets as well.”
Newcastle Business Improvement District (BID) chairman Eddie Leligowicz added: “Car parks are a revenue stream which councils depend on and hopefully this would be cost neutral for the economy.
“From our point of view it’s about striking the right balance between parking bringing people in and the council protecting its revenue stream.”
Newcastle Borough Council brought forward the £1 parking charge from 8pm to 3pm last October. It has asked BID to ‘evidence’ how lowering parking charges will boost footfall.
A council report states: “The 3pm time ties into the time when carers collect their children from school and may wish to come into the town centre. Further changes to this would need an appraisal of the potential impact both in terms of the benefit of increasing trading and the financial cost to the council.”