A TOWN in North Yorkshire has taken an unusual step in a bid to ensure people who use its local shops can get free parking.
Boroughbridge has decided to buy its own car park in a move set to guarantee it will always be able to offer free parking to shoppers.
With financial support from Boroughbridge Chamber of Trade, Boroughbridge Town Council has bought the Back Lane car park from Harrogate Borough Council on behalf of the town.
The president of Boroughbridge Chamber of Trade, Barbara Lambert-Hill, said: “This is a really important step forward for Boroughbridge and is an unusual thing for a town to do, but it shows how strongly we all feel about taking control of our own destiny.
“With so many other towns having their free parking reduced or restricted, it’s fantastic to be able to say that parking will be free in Boroughbridge from now on.
“Not only that, but there is no time limit on the Back Lane car park, so people can stay in Boroughbridge for as long as they want.”
Discussions have been going on for some time about the car park but now a deal has been recently agreed.
The move comes at a time when some local authorities, which have faced significant cuts to their budget, are considering introducing or extending parking charges.
The news has been welcomed by Love Boroughbridge, a cooperative of independent businesses working together to raise the town’s profile and increase the number of visitors.
The town is already planning two major events in the run-up to Christmas and it is hoped offering free parking at the car park will help to attract more visitors.
On Wednesday, December 4, late-night shopping will see doors staying open into the evening. There will also be extra treats on offer, including a Santa’s Grotto in Hall Square, carol singing, mulled wine and roast chestnuts.
They will get a second chance to enjoy a festive atmosphere on Saturday, December 7, when Boroughbridge marks Small Business Saturday, which will see shop windows decorated.