Council to make town centre car parks free on Sundays

Shoppers and businesses are set to benefit from a new Council policy which will see the introduction of free parking on Sundays.

From April, the Council’s town centre car parks will be free on Sundays. The aim is to help residents and businesses by ensuring that people get to enjoy one day a week where they do not have to pay to park.

In 2018, the Council invested £160,000 in its town centre car parks, ensuring they were safe and clean for everyone who uses them.

This programme of upgrades has now been extended to make the car parks free to use on Sundays to encourage more people to use the town centre at weekends.

The introduction of free parking on Sundays will be cost neutral. A small 10p per hour price increase, the smallest amount possible, from Monday through to Saturday will help cover the £390,000 cost of the free parking.

The policy will be rolled out in April and councillors have urged shoppers to take full advantage of the money saving scheme.

Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “This is great news for residents and businesses. To be able to park for free for a full day, especially at the weekend, will create new opportunities for everyone.

“We know that the rise of online shopping has posed a number of challenges for local businesses and we want to do as much as we possibly can to help them thrive. The free parking provision on Sundays will help to create an extra 52 days of trading for businesses, and I would encourage residents to take full advantage of it.”

The first free Sunday for the Council’s town centre car parks will be 7 April 2019.

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, said: “Free parking on Sundays is the big new town centre parking policy.

“I hope local residents and businesses use this opportunity to support our town centre, as we all wrestle with the challenge of online shopping and the changing high street.”