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Businesses on a Nottinghamshire High Street say scrapping free parking has driven away customers

Concerns have been raised new parking charges across Broxtowe are driving customers away from independent shops.

The increased charges no longer give drivers the first hour free in council-owned car parks in Beeston, Stapleford, Kimberley and Eastwood.

Businesses have seen a “significant downturn” since they came into force on January 1 2024, councillors from the Broxtowe Independent Group claim.

Five members of the group have submitted a motion to Thursday’s Broxtowe  Borough Council full council meeting (May 23) calling for an urgent review into the policy.

Instead of offering an hour for free, short stay car parks now charge £1 for two hours, £2 for three hours, £3 for six hours and £15 to stay all day until 10pm.

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The Labour-run council pointed out it is the first change to car parking charges since 2010 and also says previous charges did not cover the cost of maintaining the car parks.

The motion says: “All Members of the Broxtowe Independent Group have been approached by a number of independent small shop owners in Beeston, Eastwood and Stapleford.

“[There has been] a significant downturn in business turnover since the removal of free parking in several car parks across the town centres.

“Customers of many independent businesses have told owners that they will not pay for parking and will instead go where they can park for free.”

It criticises the fact no consultation was carried out before the change was made, and also asks for an independent inquiry on the impact it has had on small town centre businesses.

Portfolio Holder for Resources and Personnel Councillor Greg Marshall (Lab) previously said: “We believe that these changes to our car parking charges will allow the council to invest in our facilities and prevent cuts to jobs and services.

“This means we can deliver on our commitments to keep our town centres clean, invest in new facilities like changing places toilets and help in our wider ambition of providing new leisure facilities.”

Broxtowe Borough Council has been contacted for further comment.

The following Broxtowe car parks remain free Monday to Sunday – Alexandra Street, Eastwood, James Street, Kimberley, Station Road, Kimberley and Newdigate Street, Kimberley.

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