MP’s call for free parking in run up to Christmas

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A campaign has been launched by MP Stephen Lloyd to see free parking in the town centre in the run up to Christmas to help boost traders’ sales.

Stephen Lloyd is also hoping that shoppers can enjoy free parking through January in a bid to benefit retailers during the sales period.

He is calling on motorists to be able to take advantage of this during the hours of 3pm and 6pm on Thursdays and Fridays. The ‘Free after 3’campaign is being run in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Lloyd said he was hoping to encourage parents from the school run into town, adding, “We have a good range of independent and national High Street shops in our town centre and I would like to see everything possible done to ensure Eastbourne has a really strong Christmas as well as a busy New Year.”

He said he believed the scheme would not cost East Sussex County Council (ESCC) that much in lost parking revenue.

Councillor Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said ESCC did not operate off-street parking in the town, but added, “The county council has initiatives in place to support traders during the Christmas period, with free parking in Eastbourne, Lewes and Hastings after 4pm on the three Thursday evenings leading up to Christmas and a winter parking tariffs on the seafront in Eastbourne which offers two hours of parking for 20p and up to four hours for £1.20.

“To offer free parking from 3pm would require ESCC to amend Traffic Regulation Orders to make the new arrangements legal and enforceable. There is a concern that these concessions could prove difficult to enforce and could lead to the free parking being taken up by shoppers and commuters already parked in the town, rather than attracting new visitors.”