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New Parking Scheme Means it's Free After 3pm

posted 22 Jan 2010, 07:26 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 22 Jan 2010, 07:38 ]
Originally Posted: Friday 29th May 2009
 
A major initiative has been launched today in Rotherham Town Centre to enable shoppers to park for free after 3pm.

The scheme, which has been developed by Rotherham Borough Council in partnership with Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, applies to on-street parking and council run car parks, six days a week and all Rotherham Council car parking (including on and off street) will continue to be free all day Sunday.

The ‘Free After 3’ campaign aims to encourage people to visit the town after 3pm and support town centre businesses during the current economic downturn. It builds on a number of recent Town Centre Management initiatives, such as the Business Grants Scheme and the online discount shopping voucher scheme click-backs – all of which aim to give retailers financial support to develop their businesses especially during these difficult times.

Town Centre Manager Julie Roberts said: “Retailers across the country are facing tough trading conditions and although there are no quick fix solutions, we believe that it’s essential to tackle the challenges head on and do what we can to alleviate some of the immediate problems."

“Parking charges have always been an emotive issue and therefore we felt it was important to look at this and see what steps we could take to reduce the cost for visitors. We hope the ‘Free After 3’ will bring more people into town in the late afternoon, encourage families to shop with us after school and benefit those who want to enjoy an early evening meal or catch up with friends.”

Andrew Denniff, policy & communications manager for Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber, added: “This is not an easy time to do business but both the council and the chamber are committed to doing what we can to support the town centre and encourage shoppers into Rotherham. We hope the ‘Free After 3’ concession will have a positive impact during the next few months.”

News of the free parking has already been welcomed by a number of town centre retailers.
Ilkeston Co-op Travel Manager Nicky Mallows said: “It’s great to see the council taking this sort of action as there’s no doubt that being able to pop into town and park for free is a real bonus for shoppers.”

Nicky hopes that retailers will support the idea by launching their own initiatives. For example Ilkeston Co-op Travel will now pick up the parking charges for anyone who books a holiday with them.

Further parking initiatives to encourage shoppers into the town centre will be announced later in June.

RiDO is the regeneration arm of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

For further information, contact:
Alison Hall
Town Centre Management
Environment & Development Services
+44 (0)1709-336882; 07766-698192; alison.hall@rotherham.gov.uk
 
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