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Wyre Forest traders call for parking lifeline
Buy this photo » We need help: Phil Brook (left) and Steve Homer have pleaded with the district council to extend free parking. Photo: MIRIAM BALFRY. 021317M.
HARD-hit Wyre Forest traders have pleaded with district councillors to throw them a lifeline by extending a successful free parking scheme.
Business owners say the council’s initiative for the Christmas and New Year period helped them during a tough holiday period, with one firm’s boss stating “logic says keep it going”.
Charges have been suspended by Wyre Forest District Council at selected car parks in Kidderminster, Bewdley and Stourport on Tuesdays and Saturdays and after 4pm since December 17 but this comes to an end on Saturday night.
Conservative councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said he would analyse the impact of the scheme before deciding on future initiatives.
Phil Brook, owner of Deli@Bewdley, Load Street, said: “On Saturdays especially, free parking has helped, so more of it please.
Bewdley businesses would say ‘thank you very much’. Logic to me says keep it going to give us a chance.”
Steve Homer, owner of Tipplers, Load Street, added: “Anything that can help should be done” and Diana James, of Editions, Load Street, said customers told her on Tuesday they visited the town centre because of the free parking.
In Kidderminster, John Harper, owner of Harper’s Hair Salon, Prospect Hill, said: “Definitely trade has increased throughout Tuesdays and Saturdays and not just at specific times. There has been activity on this side of town and it would make sense to at least carry it on on Saturdays.”
Simon Blunt, of The Big Print Shop on Coventry Street, said the council needed to do more in all areas to help businesses, not just parking.
Pete Roberts, owner of Pete’s Prints, Bridge Street, Stourport, added: “Keep it running on Saturdays and stop people going further afield to places like Merry Hill – we need to give people incentives to stay local and not go elsewhere.”
The Bromsgrove Street, Kidderminster, Dog Lane, Bewdley and car park behind Stourport Civic Centre will revert to 90p for up to one hour, £1.30 for two hours and £2.10 for three hours’ parking on Sunday.
Mr Hart added: “We have anecdotal evidence the scheme has been well patronised and the feedback we’ve had has been very positive.”