Torridge Council takes positive action on parking to encourage trade

Torridge Councils Community and Resources Committee  voted to implement plans for a free second hour of parking for motorists in Bideford, Holsworthy and Torrington main Car Parks. The free second hour will automatically be added to any one-hour tickets purchased during October and November and will commence from 8am on Friday 9th October.
The proposals are being introduced to assist the recovery of town centre shops and businesses from the unprecedented adverse effects on trading experienced as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses lost significant income during their enforced closure under lockdown rules and have since been operating under new restrictions limiting the number of people allowed in their premises, and requiring compliance with face mask, gel sanitising and distancing measures. As a result of these factors queues have often formed outside some premises with customers then rushing to complete their trips before their parking expires. Councillors hope that the new “buy one – get one free” parking offer will allow people to dwell longer and have time for other activities, perhaps a spot of dining, during their visits.

The scheme has an estimated cost of around £43K representing the income that will be sacrificed in support of the initiative and will come from money the Council previously received from Government for new homes built in the area.

Councillor Bob Hicks – Chair of Community and Resources Committee and Lead member for the Economy said:

“There is a simplicity to this scheme and the prospect of immediate implementation that has supported these proposals through to todays decision. As Councillors we very much hope that it will allow town centres to continue to recover and thrive in what are still very challenging trading conditions. We would now urge all of our residents and tourists alike to get behind the scheme and shop and spend locally wherever and whenever they can.”

The buy one hour get a second hour of parking free scheme applies to Town Centre Car Parks in Bideford, Holsworthy and Torrington only. Please check the Council website for a full list of sites.

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