Itís a parking free-for-all!
Reporter: Erin Heywood
Date online: 03 January 2013
COUNCIL chiefs have given shops and motorists a New Year boost by extending free car parking in Oldham town centre.
From Monday until March 31, motorists will be able to park free for up to two hours, seven days a week on all Oldham Council-owned car parks.
Anyone nipping into a shop will enjoy free street parking for up to 30 minutes over the same period.
During the trial, a detailed consultation will take place with shoppers, retailers, residents, visitors and car-park users.
To take advantage, drivers must take a ticket from the pay and display machines for the length of time they intend to stay.
Hobson Street multi-storey car park, off Union Street, will have free all-day parking at weekends.
Retailers on Yorkshire Street are thrilled. Paul Hughes, owner of Zutti & Co. said: “Half an hour is absolutely perfect. If it were longer it would be disastrous. You’d get shop owners and workmen using it, taking up the spaces for customers.
“Half an hour gives shoppers enough time to park outside and nip in for whatever they need. It will make a lot of customers very happy.”
Councillor Shoab Akhtar, cabinet member for business, skills and town centre, said: “For the last two years we have listened to concerns about the High Street. We introduced three hours of free parking on Saturdays in our town centre car parks in the run up to Christmas.
“More people used our car parks and that means more people visited shops and attractions. Now we’re extending the parking offer to two hours free parking, seven days a week.
“If residents want this to continue beyond the trial, we need them to support us and the town centre, by taking advantage of it.”
The two hours of free parking will apply at these car parks: Civic Centre, Waterloo Street, Southgate Street, Bow Street, Bradshaw Street, Oldham Sports Centre car park on Rock Street, Tommyfield, Clegg Street, Garlick Street, Cannon Street, New Radcliffe Street and Hobson Street.
Charges and penalties will apply to motorists who wish to park for longer than two hours at these venues.
For more information visit www.oldham.gov.uk/parking.
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