Kirklees council has extended free parking until the end of the year. The measures were put in place in June to support businesses after lockdown and to make sure people could visit the boroughs town centres safely.
The council has said it will continue throughout the Christmas period as it is important short stay spaces near to shops are available for those coming in to shop, the change is in direct responses from businesses.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “We have to support our local businesses the best we can to help them recover from what has been a crippling financial period for many. Free parking is one of the most effective ways to support them to bounce back.”
“Organisations such as Dewsbury Forward and Dewsbury Chamber of Trade said it has helped the local economy and are more than happy to extend free parking to encourage people to back businesses. “
Pandor said we must not forget that the pandemic is not over, and we are still seeing infections locally.
“We want people to be able to shop and socialise, but it is incredibly important you continue to do everything you can to stay safe.”
Additional measures have been added across Kirklees to make town centres more attractive. Visitors to Huddersfield and Dewsbury will have seen temporary art installations in the centres.
The aim is to make the place more attractive, provide opportunities to reflect on the current situation and encourage people to be more socially distant. There are plans to extend these to other towns in the coming months as part of a package of measures.
Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “We’ve had positive feedback from businesses and residents on the impact of free parking.”
“Waiving parking charges is part of our long-term recovery plans, making sure town centres come back stronger following the virus, in order for us to achieve ambitions for both Huddersfield and Dewsbury.”
McBride said it is essential to try and support local businesses during this recovery period to make sure town centres are safe and attractive spaces.