Call for free parking's too little, too late for our store
Traders and shoppers have welcomed a call to offer motorists two hours of free town centre parking – although for some it has come too late.
Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin and business owners have challenged North Lincolnshire Council to offer an additional hour of parking without charge.
Shoppers are currently allowed to park for one hour in selected council-run car parks in Scunthorpe and Ashby without paying, although Brigg offers two hours of free parking.
And while Matt Couch, manager of Intersport on Scunthorpe High Street, said he backed the move, he added it had not come soon enough for his store.
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Staff at the shop have been told it will close but a date is yet to be confirmed.
Mr Couch said: "I think it is too little, too late for us.
"Customers come in and say they cannot stop and they have to get back to the car.
"Maybe people think they will go into town if they have two hours' free parking."
Shopper Sue Greenslade, 57, from Kirton in Lindsey, said an hour's free parking did not give shoppers enough time.
She said: "If you just wanted to come into town for lunch, it is not long enough. There are a lot of good shops here still."
Adele Brunt, owner of Lullaby's Baby Den in Robert Street, Scunthorpe, said: "I agree with the call to extend the free parking.
"I think it is a brilliant idea."
Tom Olliver, who parks in the town centre, said he thought the council should find a way to allow extra free parking.
He said: "Instead of saying 'no we cannot do it', the council should find a way around it. It is not only down to the parking but it is also down to the expensive rates. Unless you go into a supermarket, there is no free parking."
In April, the council introduced a Free After 3 scheme, which covers 195 spaces in long-stay car parks.
One hour of free parking is available in selected short-stay car parks in Scunthorpe and Ashby, along with two hours at car parks in Brigg. Parking in Barton-Upon- Humber is free.
Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, has previously said the authority was looking at how it could improve the town centre and prospects for traders.
She said: "We have to balance our books and provide value for council tax-payers' money but we are also trying to ensure the economy is strong."