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Town to launch free parking scheme

PUBLISHED: 09:57 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:57 11 March 2020

Free parking after 3pm on Mondays is to be introduced in Newmarket town centre from April 6. Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

Free parking after 3pm on Mondays is to be introduced in Newmarket town centre from April 6. Picture: TUDOR MORGAN-OWEN

Archant

A free parking scheme to encourage shoppers into Newmarket town centre is being introduced next month.

Susan Glossop of West Suffolk Council. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILSSusan Glossop of West Suffolk Council. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCILS

A free parking scheme to encourage shoppers into Newmarket town centre is being introduced next month.

From Monday April 6, visitors will be able to park for free from 3pm every Monday.

The Free from 3 initiative has seen some success in Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk Council has now introduced it following talks with the Love Newmarket Business Improvement District (BID).

Susan Glossop, West Suffolk Cabinet Member for Growth said: 'We recognise that while the evidence shows that people are increasingly using our car parks, our high streets are undergoing a period of challenge and change.

'We are however confident that they will remain areas of economic, social and cultural activity, and we are delighted to be working with Love Newmarket for the benefit of the town centre and the various businesses that trade there.'

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Newmarket has seen an increase in visitors over the past two years with an increase of 38,000 in vehicles recorded parking in the town's car parks.

The council said this growth was partly down to its bringing the market onto the high street and its work with partners to establish the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art as a regional visitor attraction.

However with town centre retailers struggling to compete with online shopping the council is discussing holding a summit with business leaders and other stakeholders to discuss what the future of the high street might look like.

In the meantime the council has launched Free from 3 to encourage visitors into the town centre at one of the quieter periods of the week.

The Council will also be investing £70,000 on resurfacing three Newmarket car parks - Grosvenor Yard, All Saints and Market Square - while it will also spend a further £25,000 on making more electric vehicle charging points available in the town.

BID manager Paul Brown said: 'We recognise that the Free from 3 initiative has been very successful in Bury St Edmunds where it encourages people into the town centre at a period of the week that had been traditionally quieter.

'We are looking forward to promoting Free from 3 in Newmarket as part of our programme of activity to support businesses in the town centre.'

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