Free Parking in Southport At Christmas

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The Leader of Sefton Council has delivered an early Christmas present for shoppers and businesses – with the introduction of a series of free parking incentives.

In a bid to boost business across the borough, Sefton Council has made it free to park all day in its car parks and ‘on-street’ parking spaces on Saturdays, December 7, 14 and 21.

Park and ride Services will also be free all day on Saturdays as the council strives to support the aims of Small Business Saturday.

On top of this, Sefton will also make it free to park in its car parks and ‘on-street’ parking spaces after 3pm on Thursday, December 12 and 19. Park and ride services will also be free after 3pm on these Thursdays.

The aim is to give a shot in the arm for shops and traders who continue to struggle with the national and global economic downturn.

It is hoped that people will make the most of the offer in the run up to Christmas to take advantage of the festive atmosphere and enjoy the many facilities and attractions Sefton’s town centres offer – alongside its fantastic retail outlets.

Businesses are being asked to encourage their staff not to fill up the free spaces throughout the trial so as much room as possible will be available for shoppers and visitors. It is hoped staff might instead use the free park and ride services.

The concession is expected to cost the council around £30,000 which will be met from a ‘priorities fund’ that has been set aside to support town centres and the local economy

Cllr Peter Dowd, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We wanted to be able to do something to support our town centres in the run up to Christmas as they face increasing competition from online retailers alongside continually difficult economic conditions.

“We are currently working on a review of parking across the borough and have spoken with a number of different business people while we are doing that. We have listened to what they have been telling us and believe it is time to try something different. We all understand the need to balance the regulation of parking, to free up spaces and keep trade turning over, versus the cost to the shopper or visitor.

“And that is exactly why we are carrying out this pilot to give something back, to show we are listening and hopefully help our borough make the most out of the Christmas period.

“We also understand that this might cause a bit of confusion for some people and we would normally take more time over such things. But I want Sefton Council to ‘get out and do it’ when we have an idea which we feel will genuinely help our businesses and residents. It will cost a relatively small amount of money to do this and there might be a few issues along the way. But we should not always shy away from risk if there is something out there which might help – and I genuinely do hope this will help.”

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Transportation, said: “This will be an added incentive for people to leave their computer screens in the run up to Christmas and enjoy the fabulous restaurants, bars, coffee shops, theatres, cinemas and other attractions which make our town centres so diverse and interesting.

“We have listened to the views of businesses and residents and we continue to listen, so hopefully this Christmas present will be a welcome one for everyone. It is always a difficult balance to get parking rules right, but we should learn a lot of lessons from this pilot to help us continue to shape our thinking for the future.”

Free Parking Summary

Saturdays, December 7, 14 and 21 Free on-street and council car parks all day Free park and ride all day
Thursdays, December 12 and 19 Free on-street and council car parks after 3pm Free park and ride after 3pm

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