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No free parking to boost business

Created on 30/06/2020 @ 16:10
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It doesn’t look like there will be any free parking at the County Council’s car parks in Welshpool to boost town centre trade.

There had been calls to provide free parking to entice the shoppers back after last week’s reopening of non-essential shops, but that is unlikely to happen yet as cash strapped Powys County Council updated their situation today.

But there is good news for Welshpool which won’t be seeing its town centre on-street parking reduced to allow for wider town centre pedestrian areas, with social distancing expected to continue through the summer.

Other Powys towns will lose on-street car parking capacity, but the county council said it would create similar space at council car parks with an hour free. So for example, if 10 street spaces were taken for wider pavements, at least five spaces would be created at a nearby car park for an hour of free parking.

Cabinet Member for Highways, Councillor Heulwen Hulme, explained: “It is inevitable that a certain amount of on-street parking will have to be sacrificed for a time to safely accommodate shoppers, and importantly to allow businesses to operate safely within the current government guidelines.

“We want to help our towns through these difficult times and will therefore accommodate at least half of any parking displaced from shopping areas within our off street-car parks, with the first hour free. This concession will be reviewed as we move through the recovery stage.”

Councillor Hulme added that it is hoped that town centres will “grasp this opportunity to make improvements that support an improved street scene, a café type culture, and giving our town centres every chance to thrive in the future”.

It was also pointed out that “many of our residents have taken up and increased their walking and cycling activity during the lockdown period, and we want to build on this, continuing to support their wellbeing and working towards a cleaner, greener environment for our towns, reducing the need for so many short car journeys into and around our towns”.

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