27 November 2020
There is some welcome news for Christmas shoppers with agreement from Warwick District Council to provide free parking during December.
At a Full Council meeting on 25 November, Councillors made the decision to waive tariffs in all Council owned off-street car parks, to coincide with the reopening of town centre businesses following the national lockdown and to support retailers in the run-up to Christmas.
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Councillor Richard Hales commented;
“The latest lockdown has brought even more hardship to many of our town centre businesses, in an extremely challenging year. The Council is now doing everything it can to support our local economy during the Christmas period. I very much hope that residents will take advantage of the free parking to do their shopping locally this festive season.”
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Moira-Ann Grainger added;
“While parking is free, maximum stay restrictions will still apply and the Council’s Rangers will continue to patrol the car parks to ensure that motorists are parking sensibly within the allocated spaces. We would also ask customers to help us to keep the short-stay parking spaces closest to the main shopping areas free for the disabled and those with restricted mobility.”
The Executive Director of Bid Leamington, Stephanie Kerr commented;
“The BID Board of Directors were very grateful to be consulted on the idea of free parking in December and welcome it wholeheartedly. The recent lock down has been very difficult, and it is imperative we safely welcome customers and staff back into our Town Centre in December. Free parking in WDC off-street car parks will enhance the shopping experience, reduce contact between people and machines in car parks, and support customers to easily return to their favourite shops. Accordingly, surface car parks will remain ‘short-stay’ for shoppers, while the multi-storey car parks remain best suited those wishing to park all day.”
The Chair of the Royal Leamington Spa Chamber of Trade, Hayley Key commented;
“Lockdown has hit small independent businesses the hardest so December needs to be a bumper month for all. The chamber therefore welcomes any support the Council can offer to increase the footfall in to our town. Free parking is a great incentive for those who may have been tempted to stay away and shop online”
The Chair of Kenilworth Chamber of Trade Sarah Kershaw, commented;
“The free car parking given by WDC earlier in the year was a great success for our town centre, bringing the buzz back after the first lockdown. To repeat this in December will therefore be greatly welcomed by all our local retailers who will be working hard to ensure their customers have a great experience here. Kenilworth has an abundance of spacious car parks located right in the heart of our shopping area making it very convenient to park and shop. This free car parking makes it an easy decision for people to visit us here in Kenilworth supporting our #supportlocalKenilworth campaign.”
The Chair of the Warwick Chamber of Trade, Sue Butcher commented;
“Warwick’s many small independent shops and businesses have been hit badly by the latest lockdown, the provision of free parking in our off-street carparks is therefore very much welcomed, particularly at this time. I hope that this will encourage people to come into our town to enjoy the wonderful mix of outlets and the unique Warwick Christmas atmosphere.”