PARKING chiefs have ‘committed to reviewing car parking tariffs’ in Uttoxeter including the short stay offers.
The Parking Reform Group for Uttoxeter has long been an advocate of introducing an element of free parking in town to ‘re-invigorate the high street’ and have welcomed the news the tariffs will be under review.
Uttoxeter town traders have spoken with the tourism group, the Uttoxeter Town Team, in favour of a change to parking tariffs to encourage trade to the high street.
A spokesman for East Staffordshire Borough Council said: “The new administration has committed to reviewing car parking tariffs including 30 minute bays.
“The council will consider the outturn for car parking income after April, its year end, and will, of course, maintain its car parking facilities following appraisal, post winter damage to them.”
David Denny, chairman of the Parking Reform Group, said: “It is good news to hear that the parking tariffs are under review.
“The parking reform group has always advocated free parking on market days and after 3pm, others have suggested pay on exit barriers for a fairer parking charge and to avoid the shop and run culture, which leaves the high street deserted, that has been created by the East Staffordshire Borough Council parking strategy as a whole.”
Graeme Jones, co-ordinator of the Uttoxeter Town Team has called on the borough council to make confident parking policy to bring more footfall into the centre of town.
He said: “We need some free parking in the Maltings, Trinity Road and Carter’s Square car parks.
“This is also the view of all the town traders I have canvassed.
“Thirty-minute free bays have been tried already and they made some difference but they are not the step change that needs to be made.”
Councillor Martin Blencowe said: “We’ve noticed we are a morning town in general, the vast majority of people tend to come into town before 3pm.
“The Derbyshire Dales have a policy where charges are released at 4pm to extend the day.
“If it works there, could it work here?”
Ali Archer said: “Free parking would bring real shops back into town and perhaps a market like in the old days.
“It would make a reason for shoppers to come in and stop letting the free parking providers like the Tescos of the world make all the money.
“It’s wrong that Tesco should make all the money.”
David Hunter, owner of Indulgence Coffee Lounge, said: “To improve car parking in town, I think the borough council should consider a pay-on-exit scheme for council-owned car parks if free parking is not brought in. The issue is convenience, and the current system stops people who don’t have change to hand.”
Councillor Alan Noyes said: “The usage of Fairfield has been good so far, it’s half full every day of people working in town because there was nowhere free for them to park before.
“People having to pay to go to Bramshall Road Park is wrong. I think we should bring back the free half-hour.”