Councillors call for free parking after scheme rolled out in Shrewsbury
Councillors are calling for free parking in their towns after an initiative was rolled out in Shrewsbury.
Parking will be free in Frankwell and Abbey Foregate car parks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August as part of a scheme to encourage more people to shop in the county town.
It has been put together by Shrewsbury BID and Shropshire Council in response to months of town centre roadworks which has impacted on trade.
But Mayor of Ludlow, Tim Gill, said it a shame that only Shrewsbury will benefit from free parking this summer.
"For a long time many people in Ludlow have felt that Shropshire Council should in fact be called Greater Shrewsbury Council because it seems to be the main point of interest," he said.
"Ludlow, and I'm sure many other towns, would certainly loved to have benefitted from some free parking during summer because tourism has been hit. We have told the council tourism has been hit since the parking charges went up but they are doing nothing to help us."
Deputy Mayor of Market Drayton, Roy Aldcroft, hopes the initiative could be extended to other towns in the future.
"We would most definitely have loved it in our town," he added. "It would encourage more people to use the town centre shops so I think it's a great idea.
"Hopefully they will look at extending it. Next summer, two things I'd like to see to benefit the town is some free parking and free swimming for under-16s during the holidays."
The authority has now said it may offer other towns free parking in the future if the initiative is successful in Shrewsbury.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The free parking offer we’ve worked on jointly with Shrewsbury BID is in response to the impact from the gas mains replacement work and Pride Hill improvement works taking time.
“It could be possible to roll this out in other parts of the county in the future, if it proves to be successful.”