‘Free parking’ is here to stay despite slow start
by hannah smith
KENILWORTH’s new parking scheme will be rolled out permanently with hope of drawing in even more businesses.
The Shop Here Park Free scheme which reimburses parking charges for shoppers to help bring life back to the town centre was brought in as a festive incentive.
It has been criticised by some disgruntled shoppers for being poorly advertised and even leaving car parks ‘littered with unwanted tickets’.
But now it is here to stay, organisers are keen to make it bigger and better for all.
Under the new scheme, Pay and Display machines in Abbey End and Square West car parks were altered to offer a ‘tear in two’ ticket to allow half to be taken into town.
The stubs can then be handed over at participating businesses alongside a purchase in exchange for a cash refund to help encourage people away from out of town shopping developments or supermarkets which offer free parking.
Zoë Court, town centre manager who introduced the scheme alongside the Town Centre Partnership, said although it may have been slow starting up, hopes are high for Wilkinson to get on board over the next few weeks and market traders will now display the orange logo and offer a refund to shoppers.
New information signs will also be put up by the district council to promote the idea.
“These things take a while to get off the ground, but new signs are being installed in the carparks and I will be advertising it during Easter,” she said.
“Anything that encourages shoppers into Kenilworth has to be a good thing. “I am delighted that the market is getting involved..”
Participating businesses can offer as much or little payback as they decide based on a minimum spend.
Eva Percy from Antigo, on Warwick Road which offers around £1 back on a £10 purchase, said people seemed to be embracing the idea with several customers each day showing interest.
But Lucy, an owner of Sweet As cakes said they have not had a single customer asking about the refund since it started before Christmas as many are simply unaware of the scheme or who is involved.
The pharmacy off Station Road gives 20p back on sales, and other businesses on board include Pepper Black, Bliss, Undies Unlimited.
Around ten businesses are on board so far with more including many market traders set to join in over the next few weeks
Participating retailers display an orange logo to show they are signed up
Businesses decide how much to offer back on purchases depending on a minimum spend
Abbey End and Square West car parks now have new machines to offer a ‘tear in two’ ticket to be redeemed in the town
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Kenilworth
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west