Cheap parking boosted Christmas trade in Blackpool

Central Car Park was included in the scheme
Central Car Park was included in the scheme
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A discounted parking scheme in Blackpool in the run up to Christmas helped boost the high street, town hall figures show.

Blackpool Council deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said footfall in the town centre during December 2018 was up by 28 per cent compared to December the previous year.

Drivers were able to park for up to three hours on Central, East Topping Street and West Street car parks for £1 during December.

In 2017, free parking had been offered in some car parks during December - but traders said too much of it had been taken up by town centre workers instead of shoppers.

Coun Campbell, who revealed the figures at a meeting of the full council, said 26,697 of the £1 parking tickets had been sold.

She said: "The Christmas campaign has been extremely well received. It was so well used that it is now our intention to run a similar scheme next December.

"The most popular days were Saturdays and Sundays, and well over half of businesses reported improved performances in December."

Figures revealed at the meeting also showed a 15 per cent increase in sales of the Resort Pass which gives people discounted access to various attractions through the purchase of a single ticket.

There were sales of 17,102 resort passes in 2018, up from 14,820 in 2017.

Discounted parking was introduced in response to fears extensive town centre roadworks over the last two Christmas periods could deter people from doing their Christmas shopping in the town.

Coun Tony Williams said: "I'm delighted to hear the figures for December are up. Unfortunately it doesn't make up for lost trade throughout the rest of the year and last Christmas."