TRADERS in Gainsborough have spoken of their delight at the announcement of free parking for shoppers on Tuesdays, starting next week
Last week, The Standard reported that many businesses and councillors were calling for more free parking in the town centre to combat the blow to trade caused by the ongoing development work on Market Street and Church Street.
Now, West Lindsey District Council have announced that all nine car parks in the town, including Beaumont Street, North Street and Roseway, will offer shoppers free parking all day, every Tuesday from 26th February.
The Council say they made the decision to attract shoppers into the town centre while the second phase of the Public Realm Improvement Scheme is completed.
Leader Coun Burt Keimach said: “We are delighted to offer free parking on Tuesdays and hope it will increase footfall and trade in the town centre during the improvement works.
“It will also give us a useful insight as we continue to consider options for a long-term approach.”
The £500,000 of work is being carried out to improve the pedestrian link between the Market Place and Marshall’s Yard. Market Street and the entrance to Church Street will be repaved and new lighting, signage, bins and benches will be installed, thanks to a grant from the East Midlands Development Agency and a contribution from Lincolnshire County Council.
Matthew Lonsdale, of Emmaloos in Market Street, said the scheme was an excellent idea.
“I totally support it and it is a very sensible thing to do,” he said. “Anything that brings more people into town helps the market and helps us at the same time.”
Market trader Chris Hodkin, who sells sewing equipment, also supported the scheme. He said: “Free parking is a good start. It saves people having to pay and will hopefully encourage more people to come into town.”
Coun Malcolm Parish, chair of the Prosperous Communities Committee, said: “The scheme will play a vital role in making Gainsborough an attractive destination but in the meantime we need to encourage people to continue to support local businesses.”
The work is expected to be complete by the end of April.
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