Free parking after 12pm on Saturdays is being offered until Easter in Crewe town centre as part of a package of initiatives to encourage more shoppers and visitors to the town.
Cheshire East Council is lifting charges at all nine of its Crewe town centre car parks from noon on each Saturday between February 4 and April 15, inclusive.
The parking incentive is part of a package of initiatives devised by Crewe Town Centre Working Group to support retailers and increase footfall in the town.
The car parks included are:
· Victoria Centre (Asda) – 482 spaces;
· Oak Street – 127 spaces;
· Chester Street – 109 spaces;
· Wrexham Terrace – 102 spaces;
· Delamere Street – 99 spaces;
· Civic Centre (beneath the former Library) – 90 spaces;
· Gatefield Street – 63 spaces;
· Lyceum Square – 60 spaces; and
· Holly Bank – 45 spaces
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We know that the post-Christmas period can be a difficult time for retailers and we’re keen to support them.
“We hope this incentive will increase the number of shoppers visiting the town centre on Saturdays and encourage them to spend more time in the shops and markets and at other attractions, such as the lifestyle centre and Lyceum Theatre.
“Although we already have car parks that are always free, such as Thomas Street, we hope that this incentive encourages those visiting Grand Junction Retail Park – once they have reached the maximum permitted parking time there – to visit the town centre and park for free in the afternoon.”
The free parking incentive will be monitored and evaluated to assess its effectiveness in increasing footfall within the town and the benefits seen by businesses.
Councillor Stockton added: “In addition to this parking incentive, work is ongoing to improve the overall shopping environment of the town centre and a number of initiatives have already been undertaken, including a ‘deep clean’ of the pedestrianised area and the installation of colourful window vinyls in some of the shop units that are not currently occupied.”
The town centre working group includes Cheshire East Council, Crewe Town Council, Ansa, Edward Timpson MP’s office, South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, Market Shopping Centre, Grand Junction Retail Park, Lyceum Theatre and South Cheshire College.
Councillor Stockton said: “We hope to announce further initiatives to bolster confidence in the town centre in the coming weeks.”
Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson said: "I've been campaigning for the reintroduction of free parking incentives in Crewe town centre to encourage more local people to visit, and I'm delighted that Cheshire East Council has come up with the goods.
"This will give our town centre a real boost as part of a wider, renewed effort by the council to make Crewe town centre a more attractive place to shop and do business."