Traders’ plea to extend £3 parking offer

Jason Templeton, owner of Fresh sandwich shop, on Deansgate
Jason Templeton, owner of Fresh sandwich shop, on Deansgate
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Shoppers and day trippers have taken advantage of the first weekend of a new parking scheme.

As revealed in The Gazette, drivers can park for up to 10 hours for £3 at weekends over the next two months at certain in car parks in Blackpool.

However, nearby businesses claim a more permanent way of attracting people to park in the town centre needs to be drawn up to attract trade.

People parking at the Talbot Road multi-storey shared their thoughts on the new scheme.

Stuart Clarke, 25, from Sandringham Avenue, Thornton, said: “It’s cheap, although it’s not that expensive anyway.

“You can’t argue with £3 for town centre parking. I’m not sure it would work if you did it on weekdays, but I only ever come into town on weekends anyway.”

Lynn Haynes, 63, from Addison Crescent, Layton, said: “I don’t usually come into town in the car, but it’s a lot better now if it’s going to be cheaper to park here on certain days. It’s just getting in and out of town with the congestion that’s the problem.”

Pauline Clarke, 45, is a regular visitor to the resort form Manchester.

She said: “I’m delight because this used to be an awful place to park, and I do expect to pay more here because it’s safe and clean. It would encourage more people to come to Blackpool if it was permanent.”

Dawn Hall, 35, from Heron’s Reachm added: “It’s good, I don’t usually come up this end of town but the Houndshill Centre is a nightmare.

“It will bring more people in, and it would be handy for people in the town centre if they did it on weekdays as well.”

Nearby traders have called for the council to either make the scheme cheaper, or introduce other parking innovations to attract trade in the area. Stephen Pierre, owner of the Galleon Cafe,on Topping Street, said: “The council can’t afford to do it for free and nobody can in these testing times. At the moment they’d rather have 500 people a day spending £3 on parking than 10 people spending £6.

“Unfortunately though this is offering a lot for nothing because what do you do in August - stick it back up?

“It needs that wow factor for six months. All they’re doing is putting the kettle on and switching it off.”

Brian Blackburn, manager of Ron Reddy Butchers, on Topping Street, said: “They should do it all year round. If you get more people in, that will encourage others to come in too. I think £3 is pretty good.”

Jason Templeton, owner of Fresh sandwich shop, on Deansgate, said: “Three pounds a day is good but they should do a weekly ticket to help local businesses. I’ve got three people that help out here. If they could come in and park there for something like £15 a week it would help.”

The scheme does not include Central, East Topping Street or West Street car parks.