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Party calls for parking in town centre to be free for the first hour

PUBLISHED: 12:57 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:57 15 November 2018

King Street pay and display car park in Great Yarmouth. Picture Joseph Norton

King Street pay and display car park in Great Yarmouth. Picture Joseph Norton

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A political party in Great Yarmouth believes residents and businesses could reap the rewards if the first hour of parking in the town centre is made free of charge.

The Tribune Party have called on Great Yarmouth Borough Council to ‘actively consider all options’ when it comes to lowering the cost of parking in the town.

Figures revealed by this paper last year show that Great Yarmouth Borough Council made £935,000 in 2016/17 from parking charges.

The party has launched its campaign ‘First Hour Free’ and has encouraged people to sign the online petition it has set up.

The Tribune Party believes the scheme would “put more money into local businesses” and help the town centre compete with the free out of town parking available at locations including Gapton Hall retail park.

It has also criticised the council for ‘prioritising its spending in the wrong places’.

Deputy chairman of the party, Matt Swann, said: “We believe this is a small, but necessary step towards revitalising our town.

“Introducing a free parking scheme like this will make the town centre more attractive to visitors and will give a boost to local businesses.”

Leader of the Labour group at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Trevor Wainwright, has called parking charges in the town a “contentious issue” but believes the scheme lacks details.

Town centre manager, Jonathan Newman believes the issue of parking charges needs to be explored as shopping patterns have “changed dramatically” over the last couple of years.

The Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership has developed its own ‘First Hour Free’ initiative which entitles people who park in town centre car parks to get the equivalent cost of one hours parking discounted off purchases of over £10 in selected retailers.

A spokesperson for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “The council supports the town centre partnership which already provides one hour free parking in conjunction with a large selection of our town centre retailers. There is also free parking after 4pm in most town centre car parks.

“In addition King Street, Brewery Lane and George Street car parks are also free parking after 12pm on Wednesdays to coincide with market day.”

The borough council has piloted a number of initiatives including free parking during winter months which came at a cost of £45,000.

It also launched the resident advantage card scheme over two years ago which entitles residents to free parking in their third hour.

Residents are entitled to the discount by applying for the card at a one-off payment of £2.50.

Currently 950 residents are registered with the scheme.

You can apply for a resident advantage card at https://www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/residentadvantagecard.

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