Early Christmas present for shoppers and traders
Published Monday 29th October 12
Rotherham Council has again agreed to provide some extra Christmas cheer with the confirmation that free parking will return to the Council's car parks on Saturdays in the run up to the festive period
The measure will see free parking available on Saturdays only from November 17 right through to December 22 offering another boost to town centre trade following on from the news that footfall in the town centre has continued to increase throughout this year.
Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said: "We're delighted to be able to offer this early Christmas present again to local people and the traders in Rotherham who have been working so hard to ensure that the town centre has continued on an upward trend despite the hard economic times.
"One of the key recommendations in the Mary Portas High Street Review was that town centres like Rotherham should introduce local parking initiatives to boost trade.
"We've seen the benefits of that in previous years over the Christmas shopping period and that's why we were so keen to make sure it happened again this year.
"It's vitally important that we get as many people as possible into Rotherham as they do their Christmas shopping so they can experience what we have to offer, particularly from our independent traders, who are pulling out all the stops to give shoppers that bit extra this festive season."
Motorists are reminded that the free parking offer only applies to Council owned car parks and on-street parking and that "maximum waiting time" restrictions still apply (i.e. if a space is limited to two hours stay then that restriction still applies even though the space will be free of charge).
All charges will be re-introduced again on Saturdays from December 29 onwards. The cost of introducing the scheme this year has been covered by a £28,000 allocation from the Council's Rotherham Economic Regeneration Fund.
The Christmas free parking initiative is another way Rotherham Council has worked with businesses and other organisations to boost the town centre, helping the recent upturns in footfall figures and a reduction in shop vacancy rates.
These include a number of projects and initiatives including the Business Vitality Grants Scheme, Shop Local, Public Realm Improvements, the Events and Entertainment Programme, Gallery Town and the return of Rotherham United to a stadium in the town.