Rochdale to Introduce Free After Three Parking
Rochdale Borough Council is set to introduce free parking after 3pm on all pay and display car parks across the borough in a bid boost the local economy.
In January, Council officers had proposed an increase in the charges but elected councillors opted not to up the prices and made assurances that Rochdale's parking prices were cheaper than those in Oldham and Bury.
The decision which was announced at the recent Full Council Meeting will be finalised over the next three weeks.
Rochdale's Cabinet Member for Finance Councillor Greg Couzens said: "Due to the severity of the economic downturn we felt that further action was needed to support our local businesses within our town centre. This is why we are delighted that we have come up with a scheme that will see free parking for all residents after 3pm from Monday to Friday."
Councillor Couzens added: "For the last two years we have frozen the increase in car parking charges across the borough. It is now cheaper than our neighbours in Oldham and Bury to visit our town centre and to shop at some of our fantastic stores. We are determined to pull together and help our town centre as much as possible during these difficult times."
Commenting on the free parking charges after three o'clock, Rochdale MPPaul Rowen said: "I am pleased that the Council have implemented one of my suggestions. Whilst we have ambitious plans for our Town Centre, it is vital that we support our traders. I would like to see this extended to a Saturday too as it's vital to do everything we can to boost trade and foot fall in our Town Centre."
Central Rochdale Councillor Zulfiqar Ali said, "This move is very welcome and I am sure that local residents will appreciate it. I have written to the owners of the Wheatsheaf Centre asking them to follow our lead and ensure that we work together to do everything we can to give our traders a lift in difficult times."