A GROUP campaigning for parking reform in the town centre has denied the Carter’s Square car park tariff will have any impact on encouraging shoppers into the town centre.
Jonathan Hart, of Lingfields, said Asda is ‘likely’ to offer two hours free parking when motorists spend five pounds in store.
He also announced there will be five start-up units available for small businesses to rent on short-term contracts, to allow smaller firms to start out in the town centre.
The final unit of Carter’s Square is currently with the solicitors, and is expected to be announced in the next six to eight weeks.
David Denny, chairman of the Uttoxeter parking reform group, said: “We have always lobbied for free parking of some sort in the town centre alongside a range of other initiatives to increase footfall in the high street.
“Asda’s parking scheme will only benefit Asda shoppers of course, and not even other businesses in Carter’s Square or anywhere it seems, but they are in the business of selling groceries and not re-generating Uttoxeter town centre.
“Anyone who waits for businesses to contribute to regenerating a town centre economy will wait a long time.
“It’s similar to the way that you can claim your Maltings car parking fee back at the Co-operative, nothing will really change.”
David Hunter, owner of Indulgence Coffee Lounge, said: “I think the Asda offer is absolutely fantastic.
“Tesco does well in the town with free car parking so I think it will increase footfall in town for business.
“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 plausible as the issue is if you don’t have any change to hand.”
Malcolm Barrett, Uttoxeter business owner and borough councillor, said: “It’s a good thing, most people can do what they need in two hours. It’s what we need to boost the town economy.”
Graeme Jones, leader of the town team tourism group: “I think any means to introduce an element of free car parking into town can only be a good thing.
“What I’d really like to see is the borough council offering selected hours free of charge to boost slow times of day.”