Free parking plan to improve Crowthorne businessBy Becky Barnes
October 16, 2012
Weekend free parking hours in a Crowthorne car park could be extended in a bid to boost high street business.
Crowthorne Parish Council have put forward proposals to Bracknell Forest Council for free parking to be extended from two to three hours on a Saturday at Heath Hill Road Car Park, off the High Street.
Crowthorne parish councillor Tina McKenzie-Boyle said: “I do not want the High Street to die – with a two-hour parking restriction it is quite difficult to support local businesses.
“You can’t support the mini market, have coffee with your friends and have a haircut, but with three hours you can.”
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle brought the idea to Crowthorne Parish Council’s meeting on Tuesday, October 2, after listening to feedback, especially from those who lived too far from the centre to walk.
She said: “People come to me and say they would like to support our businesses but can’t do so because of the restrictions.
“In this climate supporting our local businesses and local resources is vital – we want to support and keep our businesses going. We can’t shop faster but we can shop smarter.”
Six parish councillors voted in favour of the proposals and three against at the council meeting at Crowthorne Parish Hall.
Councillor Jim Finnie said: “My concern with people parking for three hours is you would have less people coming in and one person taking up a space for a long time.”
Cllr McKenzie-Boyle said she hoped Steve Loudoun, chief officer: environment and public protection at Bracknell Forest Council, would support the parish council’s proposals.
She said: “Crowthorne has such a diverse and useful bunch of businesses – we have a huge amount going on for us and people who live on the outskirts want to support our community.”
A Bracknell Forest Council spokeswoman said Mr Loudoun had some further questions for the parish council to consider.
She said if Mr Loudoun thought it was a good idea after Crowthorne councillors had answered the questions there would be various consultations.
Free parking will remain at two hours Monday to Friday.