Oswestry traders call for free festive car parking
An Owsestry business group is calling on the town council to provide free parking in the run up to Christmas, at a cost of £8,000.
Towns across the county have adopted the policy as a way of boosting trade by bringing in extra shoppers for the busy festive period.
Oswestry has introduced the policy in previous years.
Mark Derham, the chairman of Oswestry Chamber of Commerce, has submitted a request to Oswestry Town Council to consider introducing the option over Christmas.
Oswestry town councillors will consider the letter at the markets and service committee meeting on Wednesday evening.
The letter states: "It is my impression that the previously seasonal generosity of the town council has been warmly received by town centre traders.
"It certainly helps to encourage increased footfall within the town over this crucial trading period."
If the motion is approved, then it will continue the arrangement from previous years across all town centre car parks, with no charge from 2pm daily from Monday, December 11, to Saturday, December 23.
An approach has already been made to Shropshire councillor for highways, Steve Davenport, for the arrangement to apply across county owned car parks in Oswestry.
It is estimated that it would come at a cost of around £8,000.
Shoppers are able to park free in Shrewsbury on Wednesday evenings in a move which has been credited with increasing the number of visitors during the festive period.
A similar move has been made in Powys with the local authority providing free parking in towns across the county in the run up to Christmas to boost trade.
The festive initiative, which follows previous successful free parking schemes, will provide free parking on Saturday, December 16 and 23, between 10am and 6pm.
Council leader councillor Rosemarie Harris and Councillor Liam Fitzpatrick, cabinet member for highways, said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm that the council’s free car parking initiative will run for the two key shopping days in the run-up to Christmas.
“We know that the scheme will be welcomed by shoppers and businesses alike and will provide a timely boost to the county’s economy in the run-up to the busiest shopping period of the year.
“The county’s economy is vital to everyone and the festive period can make a real difference to countless businesses, so any help to increase spend has to be worthwhile.”
The initiative only applies to off-street car parks and does not alter existing on-street parking restrictions. Free parking in short stay car parks is only applicable for a maximum of two hours.