PARKING restrictions introduced in three busy shopping areas in Sheffield are to be relaxed to allow motorists 15 minutes free time to visit local shops and businesses.
Sheffield Council brought in new permit parking schemes in the Ecclesall Road, Sharrow Vale Road and Broomhill areas of the city several months ago, but faced claims they were affecting trade.
Sheffield Council said feedback from traders showed that a lot of people visiting local businesses were simply popping in and out, leading to the 15 minutes free change.
Motorists will still need to get a pay and display ticket from the machine but this will be at no charge. Those wanting to stay longer than 15 minutes will need to pay the charge of 20p per hour. Councillor Ian Auckland, Sheffield Council's Cabinet member for business, transport and skills said: "We are listening to business. We know that a lot of the time customers are just popping in and out to make a quick purchase.
"These improvements should help to bring even more trade for local businesses in the areas. With permit parking schemes there is a fine balance to strike between residents, businesses and visitors and we need to make sure that the scheme works reasonably for everyone."
The council said although it had agreed to introduce 15 minutes free parking, feedback had shown that permit parking has also benefited people picking up and dropping off at schools and general deliveries to residential properties.
Amanda Perry at Fancie Cupcakes on Sharrow Vale Road said: "'I'm so glad the 15 minutes free parking scheme is staying on Sharrow Vale Road and being extended to Ecclesall Road and Broomhill. It has been great for businesses and our customers, the scheme encourages a much higher turnover of cars meaning it is fairer for people wanting to park up to grab something from the shops."