Three Cheers for Tendring

Mistley TowersYesterday’s East Anglia Daily Times reports  that Tendring District Council’s innovative free parking scheme is being hailed a success after businesses said they have seen a significant increase in footfall.  The Council is set to continue the popular initiative which allows people to use their car parks for 12 hours during the day completely free of charge. A survey carried out by the local authority on hundreds of businesses found that around 50% had noticed a higher footfall through their town centres since the free permits were issued to households. Approximately 30% of businesses said they noticed an increase in the number of customers coming through their doors. Tendring introduced the scheme at the end of July last year. Every council taxpaying household in the district was issued with a free parking permit for use at any of the council’s 25 car parks from 10 a.m. to midnight. Tendring District Council’s initiative has seen town centres buck the national trend, encouraging shoppers to visit their local retailers. Business leaders in Suffolk last night said the success of the scheme “bursts the balloon” of those who claim there is no correlation between free parking and increase in footfall. Mark Cordell, chief executive of town centre business improvement group Bid4Bury, said: “This scheme is a great example of the local authority listening to, and acting upon, the views of businesses. It is no surprise to me that it has been a huge success”.
Three cheers for a council that sees car parking as support for commercial well-being and not as some form of cash cow useful for balancing the cash flow deficit The full reports can be read on (

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