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Parking concessions to support our high streets

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16
Jul
Councillors have agreed a parking concession of an extra half an hour for free from Saturday 18 July to help residents access town centres more easily.

With social distancing still in place, there are more queues for shops, banks and barbers and hairdressers, and it can take longer to do the essential jobs in the high streets.

Paying for extended time in car parks often dissuades people from visiting town centres, so an additional half an hour for free could encourage people to linger longer and make use of cafes, restaurants and pubs, which are so important in our town centres.

Cllr Roger Truelove, leader of Swale Borough Council, said:

“We have been working hard to make sure we are supporting local businesses during this pandemic, but we also need to ensure we are getting the right balance and are able to keep people safe.

“Businesses in our town centres are helping residents to shop safely, which can often mean waiting for longer and queuing outside in order to do your banking or to go into shops, so we’ve pedestrianised high streets to keep everyone safe, but this also means that waiting times are longer.

“We want to take the pressure off so extending parking tickets by an extra 30 minutes allows for more flexibility. You no longer need to rush around to get the essential jobs done and can take your time, or even take a moment to get food and drink.

“Most importantly it helps everyone to stay safe, stay apart and stop the spread.”

At last night’s Annual Council meeting, councillors voted to allow all car park tickets purchased to have an additional free 30 minutes added from 18 July, enforcement officers will add an extra 30 minutes to the expiry time when checking tickets in windows. This will also be applied to users of RingGo. The concession will cease on 30 September.

To enable more people to park closer to Sittingbourne High Street and to the train station, the Bourne Place Multi Storey Car Park will reopen from 20 July, however the parking concessions will not apply to the multi storey car park as this is a pay on return, barriered car park and such a concession cannot be applied.




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