Free parking in Preston city centre is set to be offered for Christmas shoppers.Advertisement
The city council has agreed to a “free after three” scheme asked for by the Preston Business Improvement District.
Preston BID, who represent city centre retailers, have written to the council saying previous years free festive parking had proven “hugely successful”.
The Market Hall car park is to be offered up by Preston City Council with selected hours being free for shoppers during December.
A report to cabinet member for community and environment, councillor Robert Boswell, said: “Free car parking is seen as an important part of the package of measures that are put in place to both stimulate demand for local businesses and best manage the impacts of this demand on the highway network and car park facilities.
“However, at the same time, the City Council is experiencing a continual decline in car parking income and therefore, this should be borne in mind when considering which facilities and which days are offered free during the Christmas period.”
It is also understood both St George’s Shopping Centre and Fishergate Shopping Centre are likely to match whatever free parking is offered by the city council.
The free Christmas parking at the Market Hall is to cost the city council £3,170 in lost income.
Council officers have recommended Preston BID be approached to see if they can make a contribution – as the city council faces a £50,000 shortfall in parking income in this financial year.
The proposed free Market Hall hours are:
Saturday 15 November from 3pm until 12 midnight for the Christmas lights switch on
Monday 1 December to Friday 5 December from 3pm to 12 midnight
Sunday 7 December all day
Monday 8 December to Friday 12 December from 3pm to 12 midnight
Sunday 14 December all day
Monday 15 December to Friday 19 December from 3pm to 12 midnight
Sunday 21 December all day
Monday 22 December to Wednesday 24 December all day
Councillor Boswell has signed off the free parking, but it could be called in by other councillors to be discussed at a council meeting. If this doesn’t happen by Friday 3 October it comes into force.
You can view the full council decision on the city council website.
What do you think of the free Christmas parking? Should it happen? Do you make use of it? Let us know in the comments below