28/02/2013 - Permalink

Boost for Shrewsbury town centre with new transport offers

Related topics: Community

Shropshire Council is giving fresh encouragement for people to visit Shrewsbury town centre by proposing new parking and transport special offers this summer.    

The following initiatives are being proposed at the meeting of full council on Thursday 28 February 2013:

  • Half-price tickets on the Shrewsbury Park and Ride service for anyone who holds a bus pass, from 1 April 2013.
  • Eight “Super Sundays” of all-day parking for the price of an hour.
  • The reintroduction of Sunday bus services in Shrewsbury from June 2013, with the aim of extending this countywide.

The Super Sunday initiative is planned for the Sundays between 21 July 2013 and Sunday 8 September 2013, with people being able to park all day in Shrewsbury’s town centre promoted off-street car parks for the price of one hour – in most cases that will be 80 pence or less.   The offer will include the Raven Meadows multi storey car park.  The plan follows the success of last year’s “Spectacular Sundays” promotion which was hugely popular with town centre businesses for increasing trade.

Council leader, Keith Barrow, said:

“We have been working extremely hard to make savings wherever we can within the council, so there’s a small amount of flexibility to do positive things like this.  Although there’s obviously a limit to how much of the budget we can invest, we hope these proposals will really help boost Shrewsbury town centre on Sundays.”

Some recent reports in the media have suggested that Sunday car parking charges were having a negative impact on some shops in Shrewsbury.  There were also reports that Sunday charges had only just been introduced in off-street car parks, but they have in fact recently been halved to encourage more people to shop on Sunday.

Councillor Simon Jones, Cabinet member responsible for transport and highways, said:

“We reviewed the car park strategy last year, which involved consultation with partners such as town councils and business groups, and we will continue to work with businesses to help as much as we can in the future.  It’s worth remembering that charges in off-street car parks have not gone up since April 2011, and we have halved charges on a Sunday since 3 December last year.

“At the end of the day, people want to visit town centres because of the high quality shops and attractions on offer, and we need to all work together to not only improve that, but to coordinate this with managing the traffic and parking sensibly.  I am delighted we are able to propose these special offers for the summer, and I’m sure they will help encourage more people to come and enjoy the town centre.”

As well as these new proposals, the council is removing all charges in Frankwell Main, St Julian’s Friars and Abbey Foregate Long Stay car parks on Sunday 21 April for the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival, and on Sunday 30 June for the new Shrewsbury Food Festival.

Council leader, Keith Barrow, made the offer after talking to organisers of the food festival on the social networking site, Twitter.

Keith said:

“We have always said we want to do everything we can to help local businesses thrive, and it’s good to see people pulling together to make things happen, like the food festival and cartoon festival.

“We want to support events like this, so I made the offer of suspending car park charges on those days to encourage more people to come along, and it will be up to town centre businesses to open on those days to make the most of the opportunity.  I really think it’s important that businesses look for positive ways to work through these difficult times rather than complaining about things and doing the town down.”