Call for more free car parking in town centre

Improvement works on Market Street in Gainsborough G130212-1a
Improvement works on Market Street in Gainsborough G130212-1a

A GAINSBOROUGH councillor has called for free parking in the town centre in light of current development work causing disruption to trade.

Currently, 14 weeks of £500,000 development work is being carried out on Market Street and Church Street as park of the East Midlands Development Agency and Lincolnshire County Council work on the next phase of the £3million Public Realm Improvement Scheme.

The work has proven quite controversial for business owners and local traders, but the hope is for it to draw more trade into the town centre from Marshall’s Yard.

Gainsborough district and county councillor Mick Tinker has discussed trading conditions for shops in Church Street and Market Street with West Lindsey District Council.

“The street closures have resulted in a noticable decline in trade for these shops” said Coun Tinker.

“I received a positive response to my suggestion that the first hour parking at Roseway car park should be free to help shops who have lost trade from customers unable to park for free nearby.”

He added: “Many customers only need to park for a few minutes so free parking will encourage them to use shops in this part of town.”

Dawn Barren, owner of Barren Bou at the top of Lord Street and at the junction of Market Street and Church Street, said that she and other nearby businesses had suffered a drop in trade as a result of the work.

“There’s definitely a drop in customers at the moment,” she said. “People just don’t seem to know where to park and there’s not enough signage. If people don’t know where to go then they just head to Marshall’s Yard.”

Dawn added: “I think that we do need some more free parking in the town centre while the work is going on to make up for what’s been lost and to bring people back in.”

- What do YOU think needs to be done to boost town centre trade? Do you think free parking should be introduced while the improvement works are being carried out or would you like to see something else done? Get in touch and let us know by emailing or write to us.