20th Jun, 2019

Free parking night to boost city centre

Worcester Editorial 10th Sep, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

FREE car parking is set to be introduced in a bid to entice more people into the city centre.

Worcester City Council is planning to make its car parks free for one night a week, while further pressure is set to be put on shopkeepers to keep the High Street tidy.

It is all part of the council’s attempt to boost Worcester’s economy by sprucing up the city centre and providing further opportunities to generate trade.

At a scrutiny meeting last Wednesday (September 3) Coun Simon Cronin, who has played a leading role in a review of the city centre, said he was pleased to see the majority of the 19 recommendations to the council taken up.

Among those highlighted the problem of businesses on the High Street leaving bags of rubbish overnight to be collected in the morning, which Coun Derek Prodger described as “horrendous”.

Coun Cronin added: “The point Derek has made is quite appropriate. As I look out of the window along the High Street there is a shop opposite the Guildhall with three bags full of rubbish.

“Clearly what they are doing is putting stuff out at 6.30pm to collect first thing in the morning and it is this kind of problem which we need to try and address.”

Coun Adrian Gregson, chairman of the scrutiny committee, said they would work with Worcester BID to educate business owners and write to trade waste collectors to make sure rubbish is picked up on time.

The council will also continue to hold talks with the BID over ways to address the issue of empty properties in the city centre.

Other recommendations, which were approved, included the introduction of a “modest” licence fee for shop owners, who want to put out A Boards, while a farmers’ market could be set up once the project to revamp Angel Place has been completed.

Adrian Field, head of Worcester BID, added: “We have been undertaking consultation ahead of our second five year term ballot in November and we know that businesses will be extremely supportive of the free parking agreement which will help all sectors of the economy.

“If the ballot is successful some of our proposed projects such as a Restaurant Week promotion for example would clearly benefit on the back of this.”

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