An extra 23,000 cars have used Northampton Borough Council’s car parks in the town centre since the local authority introduced free parking on Saturdays.
According to statistics released by the council, between April, when the free parking offer was introduced, and July, 85,539 vehicles parked in the Mayorhold, Grosvenor, St Johns or St Michaels car parks.
During the same period in 2013, 62,265 vehicles parked in the car parks - an increase of 37 per cent.
Councillor Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning said free parking was “bringing people back into the town centre.”
He said: “Town centre businesses and local residents told us they wanted more free parking, and we have delivered. The free parking offer is in addition to multi-million pound improvements to the town’s public transport including the new North Gate bus station and a redeveloped Northampton Castle railway station.
“When visitors arrive in Northampton they are discovering we have some fantastic entertainment in the Cultural Quarter, great places to eat, brilliant independent shops and everything you would expect in a busy county town.
“With more shoppers and visitors coming into Northampton, and some exciting plans coming forward, our town centre has a bright future as somewhere people want to come to and a place businesses want to invest in.”
Car parking figures by car park comparing parking numbers between April 1 to June 30 in 2013 and 2014.
Car Park 2014 2013 Diff %
Mayorhold 32,370, 26,337, 6,033, 18.6
Grosvenor 30,895, 21,465, 9,430, 30.5
St Johns 11,619, 7,618, 4,001, 34.4
St Michaels 10,655, 6,848, 3,810, 35.8
Total 85,539, 62,265, 23,274, 37.4