Bedford's Mayor should remove parking charges in the town centre for 4 hours every weekday until the New Year, according to Bedford's Conservative Deputy Leader. Councillor Roger Rigby is calling on the Mayor to rescue Christmas for our town's heroic traders and deliver them an early present, with swift action to encourage shoppers back into town, during what is usually one of the busiest times of the retail year.
Deputy Conservative Group Leader Cllr Roger Rigby commented:
"This second lockdown has dealt Bedford's retail businesses a heavy blow, coming so soon after the COVID restrictions earlier this year and with a huge switch to online shopping during the course of the pandemic. The Mayor must help make December busy and profitable, aiding in the revival of our hard pressed retailers and bringing shoppers back into Bedford. Whether it’s shopping in town or click and collecting, with so many wonderful entrepreneurial, boutique and established shops, Bedford must be the place to visit this Christmas.
Bedford’s businesses need a trading boost and we have seen town centre footfall and parking revenues are already down. Businesses have worked hard to make the town centre COVID safe, and offering free car parking will bring them customers. Bedford Bid's members' survey asked for more free car parking long before COVID, but now it is absolutely vital for the survival of our town's retailers. The Borough must gift our retailers and their customers’ free Christmas parking."