Ribble Valley traders call for free parking
TRADERS have called for free parking in the run-up to Christmas to boost festive shopping in Clitheroe.
Ribble Valley Borough Council is considering the request from the Chamber of Trade as it carries out a review of all parking.
Traders and councillors have welcomed the announcement which has seen a new committee set up to deal with parking issues in the borough.
Councillors on the group will also meet to discuss whether there are enough places to park, periods of free parking and other parking charges.
Coun Ged Mirfin, who represents Billington, Brockhall and Old Langho, said the committee would also consider a request from the Chamber for free parking in the four weeks running up to Christmas.
He said: “The objective is to have as much footfall as we can into Clitheroe. It will benefit traders and residents alike.
“I am particularly pleased that we will be looking in detail at the issue of car parking which is long overdue, a detailed investigation.”
Kirsten Southam, manager of Beryl Shoe Shop, said she welcomed the plan but more was needed.
She said: “Free parking is an amazing idea and I absolutely would support that. Parking can be a nightmare for my customers, what with finding change and figuring out how long they can stay.
“Free parking would help but there is a basic problem with signage. Many people struggle to find the car parks in the first place. “There also simply isn’t enough parking available.”
Paul Howard, manager of Cownam’s Famous Sausage Shop, said: “That is a brilliant idea and one which would have my support.
“I know lots of customers who come into the shop have struggled to park. As a business, free parking of any kind is great news.
“It’s also a problem where people don’t realise many parking spots only allow half an hour, so lots of people are getting tickets. “There also isn’t enough parking spaces considering the amount of shops in Clitheroe.”
In addition to reviewing free parking proposals, the committee has decided the cost of parking in the Ribble Valley will not rise for at least a further 12 months.
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