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Free parking pledge to support trade

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Parking in town centres will continue to be free on Dudley Council carparks as the borough’s highways boss renewed his pledge to support local businesses.

Dudley Council is planning to retain the two-hour free parking on council car parks as part of the budget setting process.

Highways bosses say the move will help people to shop locally.

Charges for parking after two hours have been reviewed and will generate £140,000 a year over the next three years for the council, which will help to maintain car parks.

A review of 27 smaller car parks, which are currently free to use, will also take place to add charging after the two hours free parking. The council hopes to generate £220,000 over the next three years to put back into the service.

On street parking in towns will also remain free as part of the plans.

Councillor Shaz Saleem, cabinet member for highways and public realm, said:

We have to do everything we can to support local businesses and encourage people into our town centres to shop local. Over the past few years, free parking for two hours has proven enormously successful in doing that.
Of course, we have to be responsible and balance the need to invest in the service which is why we are also reviewing where people park and charges for staying more than two hours. But rest assured, our focus is very much on making sure we make it as easy as possible for people to come into our town centres and do their shopping locally.

Under the review of car parking charges, after the first two free, hours three hours parking will be standardised across the borough at £2, currently either £2.10 or £1.80, all day parking will rise from £3.50 to £5 and overnight parking  (7pm to 7am) will be £1. Season tickets will be £600.

A report will go to the council’s cabinet on December 14 for discussion along with a number of other investments in services across the council.

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