FSB Backs Parking Campaign

A campaign by traders to extend free parking in Northallerton has won the influential backing of the Federation of Small Businesses.

A petition from Northallerton Business Improvement District will be reviewed by North Yorkshire County Council’s executive at the end of the month, and the FSB says the town needs every help it can get to restore trade after the pandemic.

A huge majority of businesses has called for free parking on the High Street to be extended to two hours from its current 30 minutes amid serious concerns about declining footfall and empty shops.

“Half an hour is totally inadequate to do any shopping under the new social distancing rules,” says Carolyn Frank, York and North Yorkshire Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses. “Customers can spend that time queuing outside one store.”

“High Streets were already struggling pre-COVID with reduced footfall, and we advocate a mixture of flexible parking solutions for every high street to encourage customers to park and shop.”

“With the added pressure on businesses through the crisis, this has never been more important for our local high streets.”

“Several of Northallerton’s businesses have gone under during lockdown and the rest need help to get back on their feet. Councillors need to listen to the concerns of traders because they are under more pressure than they have ever been.”

“We really need to protect our High Streets and make it as easy as possible for people to use them, and a business-led parking strategy is key to this.”

A new BID survey has revealed that three-quarters of businesses feel restricted free parking on Northallerton High Street has had a negative impact on trade.

The NYCC review will be held on July 28.

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