06:56PM, Wednesday 14 April 2021
The Windsor and Maidenhead council has said that free parking is ‘not something we are offering at this time’, despite calls from residents for it to be implemented to support reopening businesses.
Last week, Buckinghamshire Council said that it would provide free parking in town centre car parks from Monday this week until Tuesday, May 11, to assist non-essential shops trading again.
The authority said that ‘the next few weeks and months could literally mean the difference between make or break’ for some business owners, as it encourages people to ‘Think Big, Shop Small’ as part of its ‘Welcome Back Bucks’ campaign.
Ian Thompson, corporate director at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “By offering free parking in our car parks, we’re doing our bit to encourage people to support local businesses and come back to shop in our town centres.”
Advertiser readers on Facebook were keen for the Royal Borough to consider a similar scheme to its neighbours in Bucks.
Corinne Campbell said that free parking ‘is key to getting our high streets back’, while fellow resident Nicky Kaur warned that if this was not implemented, she would ‘go over the border and spend my money there’.
Another reader, Melanie Hill, added: "Maidenhead town centre businesses in particular need all the support they can get right now and free parking would increase footfall."
When asked whether the borough would be considering a similar initiative, a spokesman said this was not something the authority was looking to do at this stage.
He added that the council has launched a reopening initiative which businesses can get involved in.
“Free parking was considered as part of the town centre reopening plans but this is not something we are offering at this time,” he said.
“However, the borough has launched a reopening campaign that reflects our unique royal connections, while also supporting public health messaging, to ensure we keep our communities safe.
"The messaging 'Don’t let your guard down' alongside the guard imagery will be used across the whole of the borough.
“This is a co-ordinated approach using My Royal Borough, Visit Windsor, Make Maidenhead and the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum.
“Businesses are encouraged to sign up to the campaign at www.myroyalborough.com and can use all of the imagery that’s been created.
“As a mark of respect, the campaign has been lower key this week due to the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.”
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