Burnley Council is introducing a "free after 3" car parking scheme next month to help boost the local economy as we all follow the national roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions.
Motorists will be able to park for free on all council-run pay and display car parks in Burnley town centre from 3pm, every day of the week. Charges will still apply at other times of the day and on other council-run car parks elsewhere in the borough.
The scheme will run for a three-month trial period, starting on 12th April. It will then be reviewed with a view to extending it further.
The proposal has been warmly welcomed by the Burnley Business Improvement District (BID).
Burnley Council leader Councillor Mark Townsend said: "The Government’s roadmap out of Covid restrictions means that 12th April will see non-essential shops and gyms re-open and other restrictions lifted.
“We want to get as many people as possible coming to Burnley town centre but always with a careful eye on staying Covid secure and safe so that we continue to beat the virus and keep infections rates low.
“Offering free parking after 3pm will encourage shoppers to come into town from mid-afternoon onwards, to help ‘extend’ shopping over the whole day and spread visits over a longer part of the day.”
Councillor Asif Raja, executive member for economy and growth, said: "This is great news for shoppers and local businesses alike.
"The town centre gets quieter from mid-afternoon onwards. Offering free parking after 3pm is an incentive for people to come in that bit later, avoiding the peak times around lunchtime for example, and making the experience that much easier and attractive for shoppers.”
The council operates 16 short stay car parks in Burnley town centre, offering a total of 1,059 spaces.
Following the trend over recent years, the council has frozen parking charges on its car parks this year.