Bid to reduce car park charges in Oswestry
Car parking charges in Oswestry should be changed to attract more people into the town centre, it has been claimed.
Green Party councillors are appealing to the town council, which runs Oswestry's three main car parks, to look at allowing free parking between 6pm and 8am.
They also want to rescind the one-hour parking charge and replace it with with an 80p charge for the first two hours in all the town council's car parks.
Putting the motion to Monday's town council meeting will be Councillor Duncan Kerr.
He said such a scheme would boost the evening economy and encourage shoppers to stay longer in the town.
"Our town centres could all do with a bit of help at the moment," he said.
"Footfall is going down in many town centres and as a town council, one thing that we can do is look at our car park charges."
He said the council's current policy of having a one hour parking fee meant many shoppers rushed to the one shop they needed to go to and rushed straight back to their car before the hour was up.
"If we rescinded the one-hour tariff and replaced with with 80p for two hours then shoppers would be able to relax. They might well go into another shop, or stay in town for a cup of coffee," he added.
"We in the Green Party also think that is it unfair that people in Oswestry have to pay to park in the evenings when people in neighbouring Shrewsbury don't.
"We should be encouraging people to come into the town and go to our evening events, or have a meal or a drink."
Councillor Kerr said the change would also help people who live in or near the town centre.
"If, after 6pm, you can use the car park for free then is would be a win win for local residents and visitors," he added.
He said it was important that any ideas for changes went out to public consultation.
"We should say to the public, this is our idea to help the town, have you got any ideas – let's hear from everyone who we can improve footfall," said Councillor Kerr.
He said that consultation could take place in time for a decision to be made as part of the council's budget making for 2019/2020.
The council will also look at the latest talks as part of a bid to take over the parking enforcement in Oswestry town centre from Shropshire Council.