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Parking scheme encourages visitors
4:12pm Wed Feb 27, 2013

Recent letters to the Advertiser demonstrate that Newark town centre parking remains a matter of concern.

North Yorkshire County Council runs a carparking scheme that seems to operate well in encouraging people into their market towns.

As a result, many such towns still have a good number of thriving independent traders.

The scheme consists of a parking disc with a time dial (similar to the blue badge disc) which is displayed in the vehicle, and allows free parking for up to two hours in designated areas.

Parking wardens still patrol and ticket anyone who has infringed the time allowance.

The scheme is run by a road safety partnership, which produces the parking discs for a relatively modest outlay.

Usually one retailer is issued with a large batch of the discs and other shopkeepers obtain theirs from this central source.

Car drivers then simply ask for one at any of the local shops in the area, and they can be kept and used again as often as necessary.

In Yorkshire, the scheme has also been extended for use in a number of neighbouring towns within the county.

Retail consultant Mary Portas and various consumer/retail organisations have said they consider free, convenient parking to be one of the crucial services necessary for maintaining a healthy shopping and business centre in traditional market towns such as Newark.

I know this would result in a loss of income for the local authority, but perhaps this should be set against the benefits of supporting local businesses and encouraging more visitors and tourists into the town.

— S. C. McARTHY, Newark (Full address supplied).

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