Council to extend free parking until August
Following the lifting of government restrictions and to support the gradual reopening of town centre businesses, Warwick District Council will continue to offer free parking until August.
In line with government guidance and to assist key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic there has been no charge to park in the district’s 27 Council operated car parks. Now with the announcement that non-essential shops and businesses will be opening from 15 June, Councillors have made the decision not to reintroduce tariffs until 1 August to encourage local people to come back to the high streets after many weeks of closure.
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Councillor Richard Hales commented;
“The past three months have been tough for our retailers, particularly those who have been forced to close completely. The Council is now doing everything it can to support our local economy as businesses start to reopen. I very much hope that residents will take advantage of the extended free parking in and around our town centres, to go back to their favourite shops, especially our many small independents who have been hardest hit.”
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Moira-Ann Grainger added;
“Those coming in by car are advised to use the long-stay car parks, as we will be taking steps to ensure that the short-stay parking spaces closest to the main shopping areas are left free for the disabled and those with restricted mobility.
We have welcomed the considerable reduction in traffic in our town centres during the lock-down period and the sharp increase in cyclists and we hope that the temporary traffic measures put in place will allow this to continue.”
The Executive Director of Bid Leamington, Stephanie Kerr commented;
“As we gradually transition to opening, we want to ensure everyone has a positive experience in the town centre so we welcome this proposal. Given there will be road layout changes in Leamington, free parking in WDC off-street car parks will release roadside space and support customers and staff returning to local businesses. Accordingly, surface car parks will remain short-stay for shoppers, and provide disabled parking while the multi-storey car parks remain best suited those wishing to park all day.”
The Chair of the Royal Leamington Spa Chamber of Trade, Hayley Key commented;
“Extending the free parking through the whole of July will give a vital boost to those retail business that have been struck very hard by the covid-19 lockdown. We hope to see our town bustling again with shoppers soon, all be it at a social distance!”
While parking is free, maximum stay restrictions will still apply and the Council’s Rangers will continue to patrol the car parks to ensure that motorists are parking sensibly within the allocated spaces.
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All blogs are written or edited by Cllr Pam Redford & Cllr Trevor Wright