Thursday, 3 September 2020

Extend free parking until the New Year

Free festive parking incentives in council owned car parks starts from 3pm  today! -

Plaid Cymru councillors are calling for free parking in council car parks to be extended until the New Year.

They say this will help boost trade and enable people to access the town centre as bus services are not expected to return to normal until after Christmas at the earliest.

The council is currently consulting about ending free parking in its car park on 30 September. It is proposing to permit free parking after 2pm.

Cllr Carrie Harper said: "Free car parking in council-run car parks has played a major part in encouraging people to come into Wrexham town centre as the lockdown eased. This was particularly important as public transport was being discouraged and is still very patchy. We understand that Arriva buses will not be running a normal service until December at the earliest. The town-centre economy is still very fragile and the council needs to continue to provide support where possible.

"It's important that the council maintains this free service for a longer period. It would make sense to make it free after 10am to encourage shoppers and visitors to the town while also discouraging people who would park there all day. It's part of a package of measures we feel are needed to make the town centre a more vibrant place.

"Free parking in country parks should also continue because of the health benefits - both physically and mentally - for people to access the countryside and get exercise."

The council has been compensated by the Welsh Government for loss of earnings from car parks and this was likely to continue in the coming months. A council consultation is recommending the re-introduction of car parking charges from the start of October.

Cllr Harper added: "Wrexham Council has provided free parking in the run up to Christmas in the past and will no doubt do so again this year. It doesn't make sense to re-introduce parking charges for October and November and then scrap them for another month only to reintroduce them in January, the quietest month for trading.

"The people of Wrexham can also have their say - the council consultation on this matter is coming to a close on September 13th. I would encourage all Wrexham residents to contact to express their views."

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