Plans to slash parking to a nominal 10p rate are set to be backed by a council – as its leader claimed the move could attract thousands of shoppers to town centres.
The trial will run at car parks in Avon Road, Cannock and Forge Road, Rugeley. The new rate represents a 97 per cent reduction on current prices.
A meeting of Cannock Chase Council’s town centre regeneration policy development committee is set to give the proposals the go ahead tomorrow – giving the green light for a six-month pilot to start.
The fee will come in for parking after 3pm on weekdays as part of the scheme in Cannock and Rugeley.
It will apply to drivers parking up at 3pm and leaving when the car parks close at 6.30pm.
The trial will be launched between January and June – and Cannock Chase Council leader George Adamson today said previous projects across the country suggested thousands of new shoppers could be attracted.
Braintree Council in Essex offers a 10p concession after 3pm Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday. Usage has increased by 44,433 visits, when compared to the previous 12 months, although income has decreased by £67,000.
Rolling out the pilot across all car parks would cost Cannock’s council at least £90,000 a year – and Councillor Adamson says that must be weighed up against the potential boost to businesses.
He said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to visit our town centres and looking at figures from other towns, there is a suggestion that the number of visitors could increase significantly.”
A report to tomorrow’s committee says: “It is considered that the impact can only be effectively measured through a specific pilot scheme in both Cannock and Rugeley.
“While there are a number of ‘out of town’ retail centres in the proximity of Cannock town centre, this is not the case for Rugeley. As a result the impact of any town centre parking initiatives may vary between the two town centres.”
The move comes as it emerged council bosses are predicting a £30,000 shortfall in parking income this year.