Short stay car parks in Bury St Edmunds will be 'Free from 3' on Tuesdays, following a request from town centre businesses for support outside their peak times.
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said, "During the wide-ranging review of our car parks, town centre businesses said that it would be very helpful to offer a free parking period during the week to encourage more people into town at less busy times. We listened to the reasoned request from businesses and I am delighted to say that, having agreed the council's budget last night, we will be going ahead with the scheme for a one year trial. From mid-April parking in our short stay car parks in Bury St Edmunds will be free after 3pm. This means there will be no evening charge either, so visitors can stay longer and enjoy the entertainment the town has to offer."
Andrew Speed, Chair of Bid4Bury, the town centre management organisation, said, " Bury has a wonderful balance of independent retailers, high street names and cultural events that visitors will travel some distance to enjoy. They will feel even more welcome when they can park for free and spend a leisurely Tuesday afternoon and evening here. I hope that businesses in the town will support the borough council's welcome response to our request for free parking, and will explore opportunities to offer incentives to customers, as has happened in other parts of the country. "
A similar arrangement is being considered in Haverhill, and businesses are currently being consulted on the details.
The Council will continue to offer free late night shopping after 4pm on Thursdays in the run up to Christmas.