Free after three parking comes in

PUBLISHED: 09:48 03 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:37 04 August 2010

Cllr Fiona Hill, Town centre manager Geraint Burnell, Cllr Tony Hunter, Cllr Tom Brindley with civil enforcement officer Nigel Nones launching Royston's new 'free after three' parking scheme.

Cllr Fiona Hill, Town centre manager Geraint Burnell, Cllr Tony Hunter, Cllr Tom Brindley with civil enforcement officer Nigel Nones launching Royston's new 'free after three' parking scheme.

Daniel Wilson

New plan to aid shoppers

Hertfordshire County Council, North Hertfordshire District Council and business improvement group Royston First have worked together to introduce the plans, which started on Monday (2).

The new system will include all the town centre car parks, including Morrisons, Fish Hill, and Angel Pavement, and is being brought in a bid to encourage more shoppers into the town.

Tpwn centre manager Geraint Burnell said: “Introducing three hours of free parking at the end of the day has taken co-operation from all sides.

“We were particularly keen at Royston First to bring the time back to 3pm from 3.30pm in order to encourage all parents on the school run to use the town centre on their way home.

“By the time children come out of school they can drop into town and go shopping.”

Mr Burnell hopes the new system will also attract shoppers from out of Royston and the wider area.

“Ultimately we hope the word will spread to the villages where residents could get into the habit of dropping into Royston for bits and pieces of shopping, dry cleaning, shoe repairs,” he said.

“We do have 411 car park spaces within 5 minutes of the High Street so there should be plenty of available parking.”

North Herts District Councillor Tom Brindley said: “We hope that this will encourage more people to come into Royston and use the wide range of shops on offer here and we really support the work being done in increasing the vitality of the town centre, and this is one more initiative along the way.”

The scheme also seems to be popular with shoppers. One shopper said: “There is every chance I will pop into the town on my way back from the school run now.

“Previously I would have gone home first because the payment put me off. Now I can enjoy around three hours shopping without worrying about the car.”

MEANWHILE, Geraint Burnell was also pleased with the amount of empty shop spaces that were being filled.

“A year and a half ago there were eight empty properties in Angel Pavement alone and about same amount in the High Street.

“Now there’s only two left in Angel Pavement and Store 21 has come in to replace Woolworths.

“We have bounced back from a low point.”

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