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Parking Proposals

Free Parking Saved to Boost Trade in Bedford

 

Despite Bedford Borough Council facing an unprecedented financial challenge, the Council has gone above and beyond to protect local businesses and boost the economy with new proposals to keep parking costs competitive.

 

In the context of massive cuts in the Council’s available resources, proposals have been produced which maintain the popular offers of 2 hours Free Parking on Saturday  and all day free parking on Sunday. They would also introduce new opportunities to park for free in the evening in the town centre, as part of an overall package designed to ensure Bedford businesses and the local economy can continue to thrive.

 

Season Parking Ticket prices have all been reduced in order to support town centre employers and workers also, and new 15mins ‘Drop Off’ bays are to be introduced along Greyfriars to give people more flexibility to pick up and drop off passengers. 

 

Unfortunately, it has not been able to completely protect all car parking fees from increasing. Whilst the real cost of shoppers’ parking has fallen every year for 5 years in a row, budget pressures have meant that it is not possible for this to be the case again this year.  As a result, some tariffs may be marginally raised, with the charge for 2 hours parking on a weekday proposed to change from £1.60p to £1.80p, which is an increase of 10p an hour.  However, given that motorists may still park in Bedford for only 50p an hour and less than £1 for 2 hours, parking within the Town Centre will still remain extremely reasonable.

 

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Environment, said “At a time of such enormous financial pressure, the Council’s commitment to retain free parking all day Sunday and 2 hours on a Saturday and to introduce free parking after 6pm both on street and in town centre MSCPs is fantastic news which will help the local economy boost night time trade and encourage local residents to visit our already-thriving town centre.”

 

The proposed car park charges for 2016 will be considered by the Council’s Executive amongst the rest of the Council’s Fees and Charges at its meeting on Wednesday 4th November. 

 

To have your say on Budget Proposals, please follow this link.

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