Free parking hour will boost trade

Free first hour parking has been introduced at public car parks in Diss and Wymondham, in addition to Loddon. John Fuller, South Norfolk Council leader, said the initiative has come at a critically important time for the local economy, and is expected to pull in more shoppers and help market town centres fight the recession.

Free first hour parking has been introduced at public car parks in Diss and Wymondham, in addition to Loddon.

John Fuller, South Norfolk Council leader, said the initiative has come at a critically important time for the local economy, and is expected to pull in more shoppers and help market town centres fight the recession.

“These are difficult times for everyone, and our market towns are no exception. Retailers need shoppers to be spending their money with them, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

“Making parking free for the first hour will encourage local people to shop locally instead of driving all the way to the city and spending their money there. That's good for our market towns and good for the local economy,” he said.


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The new parking initiative came into effect at Loddon in September, where the Co-op has funded an additional hour of free parking. After feedback from retailers and the public, the system was improved and re-introduced at the beginning of November, and rolled out to Wymondham and Diss this week.

Andy Radford, the council's director of property, finance and IT, said: “The key issue has been local people forgetting to get a ticket for their first free hour. That's understandable when a new parking system starts, and people who forget have been receiving polite reminder notices on their vehicles thoughout this week.

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“It is important to get that first hour free ticket to record the date and time of your arrival because from next week, our car parks will be patrolled by attendants who will be checking tickets and will be able to issue enforcement notices.”

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