Parking charges are set to be reintroduced in some Shropshire Council town centre car parks from next week, as more people return to work, and shops prepare to reopen from 15 June.
Charges in all car parks were suspended in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and in line with Government advice that parking should be free for NHS and key workers. On-street parking charges remained in place.
From next Monday charges will apply in a small number of town centre car parks, with all other car parks remaining free until further notice.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “With our car parks getting busier as people return to work, and with many shops set to re-open soon, we’ve decided to reintroduce charges in some car parks from next week – while ensuring that there is free parking for our key workers.
“A number of important factors have been considered in making this decision. These include our current work to encourage and enable people to safely and confidently visit our town centres; the need to manage parking behaviour; and the need to return to charging for car parks in a manner that supports and contributes to the economy of Shropshire – and that supports steps to reducing carbon emissions in line with our Climate Emergency declaration.
“Public health and safety is clearly a priority and we acknowledge that some people may be wary about using, or queuing at, the pay and display machines. We advise people to follow the social distancing guidelines at all times, and encourage car park users to use the MiPermit app through which they can pay to park without having to use a machine.
“Due to the national lockdown easing, and evidence that some town centre car parks are increasing in use of people parking all day, there is currently no turnover or churn of parking spaces.
“This partial reintroduction of charges will encourage people to use car parks on the edges of the town centres as these will be free of charge, and encourage this turnover and the provision of accessible car parking.”
Work is currently being carried out across the county to improve car park surfaces, treat potholes and repaint line markings. This work is due to be completed in early June.
Car parks in which charges will apply from 1 June are:
- Raven Meadows multi-storey
- Bridge Street
- St Austin’s Street
- Quarry Swimming & Fitness Centre
- St Julian’s Friar’s
- Castle Street
- Listley Street – north and south
- Festival Square