Offer free parking days or see Christmas shoppers go somewhere else, Northampton business group tells council

Northampton Borough Council will not hold any free parking days in the run up to Christmas.
Northampton Borough Council will not hold any free parking days in the run up to Christmas.

There will be no free parking days at any of Northampton's car parks in the run up to Christmas, it has been revealed after an inquiry by the Chronicle & Echo.

The decision has been criticised by Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District, which has warned that shoppers may now go elsewhere.

Northampton BID's Rob Purdie has urged the borough council to reconsider.

Northampton BID's Rob Purdie has urged the borough council to reconsider.

Northampton Borough Council will only offer free parking on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day - but will not offer a discount on any weekend leading up to the festive season.

Mayorhold and Grosvenor's Centre car park will also be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

A business group is now urging the council to rethink the decision - or see shoppers pick neighbouring towns over Northampton.

Rob Purdie, executive director of Northampton town centre BID, said: “Our businesses want and are asking for as much help as they can get during this peak shopping season – and free parking days have certainly been helpful in previous years. These act as an added incentive, meaning that shoppers choose Northampton town centre as their Christmas shopping destination, rather than surrounding towns or retail parks.

“We are concerned that, without free parking days, shoppers will choose to visit other towns, which are offering free or reduced car parking in the run up to Christmas."

It comes after the borough council introduced a £2 weekend all-day parking charge in its multi-storey car parks earlier this year.

Grosvenor, St John's, St Michael's and the Mayorhold car parks are all free for up to two hours during the week.