Park for free at weekends
PUBLISHED: 18:01 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 23 August 2010
VISITORS to the town centre at the weekend will be able to park for free after a scheme which will cost the council £45,000 in fees was approved. The initiative began last Saturday and means parking will be free from 6pm on Friday until Monday mornings i
VISITORS to the town centre at the weekend will be able to park for free after a scheme which will cost the council £45,000 in fees was approved.
The initiative began last Saturday and means parking will be free from 6pm on Friday until Monday mornings in all Gravesham Borough Council car parks.
Part of the council's Shop Smart campaign to get people to spend their money locally, the scheme was given the go ahead at a Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.
It means that for the second year in a row, there would be free parking across the Christmas period.
The council say that the car parking plan, which will be funded from contingency reserves, was in response to requests from businesses who believe abolishing weekend car parking charges will increase trade in the town and help to combat the recession.
Leader of Gravesham Borough Council Mike Snelling said: "The traders have been saying for a while now that free car parking would help make a difference.
"I think we are the first authority in Kent to try this initiative and it was the right thing to do.
"I am delighted we have been able to raise the money that we need to allow this kind of initiative, and if we are able to attract more shoppers into Gravesend town centre then it will be worth it."
At a business networking breakfast last Thursday (21) more than 50 businesses from across Gravesham met to discuss issues and concerns and ideas on how to beat the credit crunch.
Speaking at the event, Peter Edwards, manager of Debenhams in Gravesend, said: "Times are getting tougher and tougher, and Gravesend has been affected.
"I welcome and support the free parking initiative, and all initiatives that are designed to tackle the recession. I hope that we see an improvement".
Car parks not in the scheme include the Thamesgate Centre, St George's Centre, and Asda, as they are not owned or run by the council.
On street parking restrictions will still apply.