Tuesday, December 21, 2010

News: Free Saturday parking to end in Rotherham town centre


From Saturday January 8, drivers will have to pay in both Rotherham town centre's council-run car park and the on-street parking bays.

The re-instatement of Saturday charges comes after Rotherham Borough Council has exhausted every alternative funding option in an effort to try to resolve the budget gap and continue some form of parking incentive.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Town Centres, Cllr Richard Russell, said: "The funding we received to pay for free parking incentives was actually cut in July. But the authority agreed to find funding of its own to continue free Saturday parking to cover the Christmas period, which we know is so important to local traders.

"Unfortunately, funding to continue the scheme just is not available, especially as other essential services must continue under already reduced budgets.

"From speaking to the owners of businesses in town, we know that free parking has proved beneficial and we will continue to do our very best to look for ways in which we could continue to fund the scheme in the future."

Funding had been used to provide free parking after 3 o' clock and on Saturdays and consultation with town centre businesses earlier in the year showed that 74 per cent traders felt the "Free After 3" initiative had the potential to improve trade and footfall and just under half of those indicated that trade had already improved shortly after the scheme was brought in.

Sixty four per cent of those traders surveyed also suggested trade and footfall had also increased with the free Saturday parking scheme.

Rotherham town centre website


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