Successful car parking trial to be permanent

Flat Iron car park in Chorley

Flat Iron car park in Chorley

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Chorley town centre’s trial car parking charges are to be adopted permanently after they were hailed a success.

Councillors gave the go ahead to the scheme which has helped to bring more visitors into the town centre and boost business.

Chorley Council’s executive cabinet, which met on Thursday evening, was recommended by officers to permanently adopt the trial from December 8 – the temporary scheme will be extended until the day before.

It means:

n One hour parking reduced to 50p on short stay car parks.

n Four hour parking instead of three on short street car parks.

n Free parking after 5pm on weekdays on all car parks.

n Free parking after 1pm on Saturday on all free car parks.

The committee was told in a report that objectives of the trial were met.

These were: To make Chorley an affordable destination; increase the churn of vehicles on the Flat Iron car park, thus increasing its capacity; making visitors aware of alternative car parks to the Flat Iron; and increasing the number of visitors to the town centre.

Among the findings of the trial were:

n The vast majority of businesses (66 per cent) have seen an increase in business on Saturday afternoons, with 20 per cent having seen no

difference.

n A total of 20 per cent of business have seen an increase in business across the rest of the week.

n A total of 34 per cent of businesses say the new tariffs increased the time their customers stayed with 20 per cent saying their customers did not stay as long.

Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of the council, said the 12-month trial had been introduced after traders asked the council to look at parking charges.

And he was pleased that the reduced rates had been making an impact.

He said: “Traders are noticing the trade is up on a Saturday morning. It’s keeping the trade going all through the day.

“There is cheaper parking as well for shorter periods of time, so they are saying they are busier on other days of the week as well.

“It is one of a range of measures we have brought in. I hope that all these things together are promoting the town centre.”