Councillors ask for Parking Help

Lats month Mendip District Council agreed to waive parking charges for the car parks they run until 6th August. The intention (Somerset West & Taunton have done the same) is to help local business recover. After so many weeks of shops being shut, councillors believe free parking should help bring customers back.

Yesterday councillors representing wards in and around Shepton Mallet wrote to other private car park owners asking them to follow suit.

We therefore respectfully call on the owners of the two large private car parks in Shepton to commit to match the same charge-free period that has been offered by Mendip District Council. We are concerned that without this blanket commitment it leaves a degree of confusion that could hit high street businesses in the town – undoing at least some of the good that the Mendip Parking Charges Relief scheme is beginning to do.

Like our friends and neighbours, we all use Shepton for our main grocery shopping, visit the Post Office, the local bank and support many smaller stores that offer a variety of local services.  Keeping parking free in all the main car parks, for this specific period, would be a significant and welcome helping hand and would mean the bigger stores would be acting as local champions of a safe return to the high street.”

Mendip has also announced the reopening of the Friday market in Shepton Mallet from 9am to 2pm in the Market Place.

One comment

  • The recently introduced free period parking in Mendip District owned carparks has been a great success, in that the usage figures have gone up significantly. This must be good for the town, getting more people into the centre and helping business trade.

    Free parking is an important part of a temporary relief in supporting Shepton shops and business, it would significantly simplify everyone’s lives if private car operators could remove any charges up to 6th August to match the Mendip District Scheme.

    I fear confusion is badly hitting both shoppers and local business but most importantly hit the vitality of Shepton town centre.

    I also believe the “hassle” of parking fees alone continue to repel shoppers or those who want to attend the restored Shepton Friday Market. Presently most shoppers care reluctant to interact with any on site machines. In the case of one local operator the charges were just introduced as lockdown occurred. Keeping parking simple, for this specific period, would be a significant helping hand and would mean the bigger stores would be acting as great champions of a safe return to the high street.

    The pre-existing grace periods are now insufficient due to social distancing and as local councillors we all believe a ‘helping hand’ from these carparks will assist the town to recover its shopping numbers and the economic benefits they bring.

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