Car parking changes welcomed by Stratford business leaders

By IH Thursday 06 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 08:38

NEW parking tariffs in Stratford have been welcomed by business leaders.

The implementation of new simpler, unified parking charges throughout the town’s council-owned car parks, which start on Monday (10 December) will provide a boost to business according to Stratforward Business Improvement District.

The new tariffs will see all Stratford District Council-run car parks charging £1 per hour for the first four hours of parking, a reduction to £6 for stays of five to nine hours, £8 for stays of up to 12 hours and extended stay rates of £10 for 24 hours and £20 for 72 hours.

Chris Gregory, Stratforward project director, said, “Earlier this year we carried out customer research among a local audience. Nearly 43 per cent of respondents cited ease of parking as the most, or second most, important factor in deciding where to shop whereas only six per cent of respondents cited cost of parking as a factor.

“That’s why Stratforward put improvements to town parking to the top of its agenda for 2012 and why we’re delighted that our work with Stratford District Council, in partnership with other key town centre stakeholders such as the Stratford Society, has delivered exactly what our member businesses need.

“Evening parking rates have fallen to a flat £2 between 4pm and 8am, which will be of significant benefit for the day into evening economy, boosting both our retailers and leisure operators. In addition, reductions to, and increased uniformity of, longer stay tariffs will encourage visitors to extend their stays."

Local residents will also benefit from discounts on town centre parking charges with a pre-payment Stratford Card. It which can be used to pay for parking and for every £1 loaded onto the card, Stratford District Council will add a further 25p.

And next year visitors will be able to pay for parking – and extend their stays – by mobile phone.

Coun Lynda Organ, Stratford District Council Technical Services spokeswoman, said: “We have worked hard on our tariff reforms to ensure they meet the needs of businesses and residents alike and shows that as a council we are listening to concerns and acting on these.

"Whilst reviewing our tariffs we have been able to maintain the one hour free at Bridgefoot and further discounts are still available when you purchase a “Stratford Card.”

The Stratford Card can be purchased for a one-off fee of £2. Visit www.stratford.gov.uk for further details.

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