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‘Free spaces not enough to entice shoppers to town’

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: January 10, 2014

06/01/14 Free car park - Fairfield Road car park, Uttoxeter
Fairfield car Park Uttoxeter

06/01/14 Free car park - Fairfield Road car park, Uttoxeter Fairfield car Park Uttoxeter

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UTTOXETER residents are not satisfied with the free parking offered in the town, saying it is not enough to encourage more shoppers.

People have taken to the Uttoxeter Post and Times Facebook page after East Staffordshire Borough Council revealed that Fairfield Road car park will now offer 73 spaces free of charge.

The ultimate decision to remove the pay and display requirements followed a review of car parking arrangements in Uttoxeter.

However, despite town leaders welcoming the news, residents have taken to Facebook saying it is simply not enough to breath life back into the town centre.

Alex Fernihough said: “What a waste of time. It will just be full every day with people who work in the town centre. It won’t encourage any extra people to the town centre.

“Free parking for a limited time such as two hours is needed on the Maltings car park, with other car parks taking the long term parking for people wanting to spend longer or for people working in the town.”

Richard Tungate added: “Why did the price go up on the Maltings from 30p short stay to £1? What’s the point in even going shopping in Uttoxeter anyway? And for a £1 minimum charge.”

Liz Bold agreed with Mr Fernihough. She said: “The Maltings and high street shops are struggling. Wouldn’t it make more sense to do selected spaces on the Maltings car park, to draw more people in to town. We should be supporting the small local shops before the big franchises surely?”

Helen Kiddle said: “If it is the same price to park in Burton then people will go and shop there – better shops, more choice. This is probably why ESBC hiked the prices in Uttoxeter to help Burton – come on ESBC you need to support Uttoxeter and all of us trying to persevere with businesses in the town.”

The news was revealed earlier this week, with community leaders saying it was a ‘step in the right direction’, although mainly agreeing it will be used by people who work in the town rather than shoppers.

Julia Jessel, the authority’s deputy leader for regulatory services, said: “We have looked closely at our car parking arrangements in Uttoxeter and are pleased to announce that we will be offering a free parking facility at Fairfield Road.

“After two years we will review this arrangement especially in light of other parking areas at Carter Square being available and hopefully with development at Trinity Road as part of the JCB scheme.

”We will also discuss with St Josephs RC Primary School the long term future of the car park as it is used by parents for dropping off and picking up children on a daily basis.

“By doing this we are offering people the choice of low-cost town centre parking at the Maltings or free parking slightly further away at Fairfield Road. We hope by doing this more people will visit the centre.”

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