Friday, November 18, 2016

News: Free parking unwrapped in Rotherham town centre

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Businesses in Rotherham town centre are hoping for a boost this festive season as free parking on Saturdays and Sundays returns in all council-run on-street bays and off-street car parks.

As the Christmas lights switch welcomed hundreds of visitors into All Saints' Square, Rotherham Council unwrapped the parking offer which will start on Saturday November 19 and includes Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve and will see car parking made free on Saturdays (as well as every Sunday as normal).

Free parking is available as usual at weekends on Forge Island as well as for up to two hours for free on weekdays in the "red zone."

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Cllr. Denise Lelliott, cabinet member for jobs and the local economy at Rotherham Council, said: "I'm pleased to announce the free Saturday parking in Council-owned car parks. We want to do all we can to help shoppers and businesses alike. Local traders have said that the free parking in the run up to the festive season gives them a vital boost to their businesses.

"We have a very good and improved retail offer in the town centre, as confirmed by Rotherham winning the national award for the Great British High Street of the year awards in 2015. Our independent shops have a well-deserved reputation for providing first-class customer service as well as having quality goods. Shopping in the town centre gives lots of choice for customers, come along and use the free parking to see the great range of gifts and products on offer.

"This Christmas, we hope that everyone in Rotherham gets behind their local shops and businesses - your support can really make a difference to our local economy."

The run up to Christmas is seen as a key trading period for retailers and town centre footfall has been in decline. Events aimed at boosting visitor numbers in the run up to Christmas include a Festive Wonderland in All Saints' Square, late night shopping, a Victorian Christmas and visits from reindeers and Father Christmas himself.

Changes were made to parking charges in Rotherham town centre earlier in 2016 to help fill a deficit in the Council's parking services budget. Councillors wanted an option to to increase charges on the basis of free (off street) parking being provided on Saturdays but this was not acceded to.

The masterplan currently in development for the town centre is set to address accessibility, traffic, transport and connectivity issues including public transport, walking and cycling, taxis and car parking.

Rotherham town centre website

Images: RMBC


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