Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Tendring: Free parking scheme boosts business

09:00 23 February 2013

Clacton High Street

Clacton High Street

AN INNOVATIVE free parking scheme is being hailed a success after businesses said they have seen a significant increase in footfall.

shares

Tendring District Council (TDC) is set to continue the popular initiative which allows people to use their car parks for 12 hours during the day completely free of charge.

A survey carried out by the local authority on hundreds of businesses found that around 50% had noticed a higher footfall through their town centres since the free permits were issued to households.

And approximately 30% of businesses said they noticed an increase in the number of customers coming through their doors.

TDC introduced the scheme at the end of July last year. Every council tax paying household in the district was issued with a free parking permit to use at any of the council’s 25 car parks from 10am to midnight.

A report by officers at TDC will go before cabinet members next week to discuss the continuation of the scheme for the next 12 months.

It states that “information so far from businesses is that Tendring is reversing national trends for shops”.

Leader of TDC Peter Halliday said the scheme has already been factored into this year’s budget, with £350,000 set aside, and if it continues to be successful and finances remain stable, there is no reason for it to be cancelled.

Reacting to the survey results, he said: “It’s great news. When those who benefit from a scheme tell you it’s actually working it has to be good news.”

He added: “There is a cost but there is a benefit and we have to realise that supporting business is key to keeping income from business rates at the level it is now. We don’t want to lose anymore businesses.

“This was in our manifesto pledge. We understand the importance of getting people into the town centres.

“The results might not come straight away but they do eventually. It’s now down to the shop keepers to relieve people of their money.”

According to the report, income from car park fees for 2012/13 is £291,873 compared to £422,291 the year before.

But the reduction is “significantly less” than anticipated and Mr Halliday confirmed income was steady in spite of the scheme.

Mr Halliday said: “It’s prudent budget management with what we have available and about making sure we bring benefits to residents and businesses alike.”

For other councils considering a similar scheme, Mr Halliday said: “It has to be considered in their all round finances. We have been able to do this because when the cuts were announced three years ago, we reacted very quickly and made changes.

“Anybody trying to do it now, if they haven’t already made that leap of faith, will struggle.

“It has to be done when the time is right and when you can afford it.”

He said the council may look to tweak the current conditions to ensure there is a balance between residents, shoppers and visitors benefiting from the scheme.

shares

0 comments

Town players Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse visited The Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley on Thursday 27 August and officially named the charity’s newest male foal as Bluey. 

The naming of the male foal comes as part of a new partnership between the Football Club and the Suffolk Punch charity. Ipswich Town will be working to support the work of the rare horse breed charity by offering assistance with fundraising and awareness campaigns.
L-R Luke Chambers,Bluey,Cole Skuse,Rob Lambert and Alex Bailey.

Everybody, meet Bluey - the newest addition to the team at the Suffolk Punch Trust, officially named by Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers and player Cole Skuse yesterday.

Suffolk has gone up 22 places in the league table for pupils achieving expected standards in reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 2.

Results for 11-year-olds in Suffolk are improving, according to the latest SATS results which show the county moving up national league tables.

An artist's impression of the new Felixstowe Pier.

Community leaders expressed sadness and regret as they approved scaled-down plans for a new Felixstowe pier.

Avro Vulcan XH558 at the Clacton Air Show.

The eyes of Britain were on Clacton yesterday as it hosted the first major air show since last weekend’s Shoreham disaster – and organisers hailed the first day of the event as a huge success.

Vulcan makes last trip over Suffolk at RAF Lakenheath.

Today (August 27) marked the last time the iconic Avro Vulcan bomber flew through Suffolk.

Ex-teacher convicted of abusing child

A former remedial school teacher from Suffolk and long-term partner of one of the founders of the Paedophile Information Exchange has been found guilty of molesting an 11-year-old boy, it can be revealed.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service was called out to a car blaze.

Firefighters were called out to a car blaze in Ipswich tonight.

Police have closed the road.

Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the scene of a three-vehicle crash on the Barnby bends in Beccles.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A young woman was assaulted while running in a woodland area off Quilter Drive in Ipswich.

Armed officers and the police helicopter were called to the scene of the incident in Sycamore Close at 3.30pm.

A 29-year-old man has been arrested after an axe was brandished at bailiffs who were attempting to execute a warrant in Pinewood.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages