Two hours free parking proves popular
Thousands of motorists have taken advantage of a new two hours free parking initiative in Darlington in its first month of operation.
More than 5,000 free tickets were dispensed in the first three weeks of the offer, available in the council’s long-stay town centre car parks.
In total, car parking was up by 6,000 visits in Darlington, compared to July last year.
The two hours free parking offer came into force on 9 July and was part of a series of initiatives from the council to provide extra support to the town centre in the face of changing shopping habits.
Another new offer was £2 all day parking in the East Street multi-storey (above Wilkos), which has also seen an increase in the number of people choosing to park there.
Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and transport, said: “The increase in overall visits in July is great news, clearly helped by the new car parking offers and I am hopeful that the extra visits are helping to boost local businesses.
“I’m hearing anecdotally that people are making the most of the offer to visit parts of the town centre that they might not otherwise get to, such as the Yards and some of our great independents, which is fantastic news and exactly what we’re aiming for.
“We’ve also seen a fantastic turn out at the many events the town centre has hosted this summer and I hope that will continue because there’s plenty more to come.”
The first two hours free is available seven days a week in long-stay car parks. On Sundays it costs £1 to park for the rest of the day. Short-stay car parks will continue to be £1 for the day on Sundays.
Motorists using the two hours free parking offer need to obtain a ticket from the machine and clearly display it inside their vehicle to show what time they arrived. The free offer is restricted to one ticket, per vehicle, per day.
Each of the nine long-stay car parks, offering a total 643 spaces, are monitored by CCTV. Payment can be made by coins, card (chip & pin/contactless) and pay by mobile phone.