The decision by Labour-led Trafford Council not to implement a ‘free after 3’ parking initiative over Christmas has been criticised by Trafford Conservatives. In previous years, from early December to mid-January, parking was free after 3pm in all council-owned car parks and on-street locations between Monday and Saturday with an aim of helping shoppers and visitors to the area to shop longer for less in our local shops.
Commenting on the decision not to offer the incentive this year, Cllr. Daniel Chalkin, Shadow Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration at Trafford Council said “It’s quite unbelievable that Labour is making our town and district centres less appealing for local residents and visitors in a year when many high street businesses are still trying to recover from the effects of the pandemic. This devastating blow for our local retailers comes on top of Labour’s plans to again hike up parking charges in our town centres in 2022.
“The excuses for not giving our high streets a helping hand this Christmas are the impact on the environment and the cost of the scheme. Shoppers however will likely drive further to the Trafford Centre rather than visiting our high streets, which will have a more detrimental impact on the environment. Labour have said that they can’t afford to implement the scheme this year as it would cost up to £75k in lost income to the council. If Labour can’t find £75k out of a council revenue budget in 2021 of £179m, while sitting on useable reserves of £165m at April 2021, then there must be a problem with managing the finances.
“The good news for residents and businesses however is that Trafford Conservatives have already created a petition on the issue at https://www.traffordconservatives.com/free-after-3 and I would encourage anyone affected by these proposals to sign the petition which will then be presented to Trafford Labour to ask them to reverse this Scrooge-like decision.”