Push for free parking in Salisbury and Amesbury on bank holidays

Parking - Central car park Salisbury - May 2018 (Mike Draper)

Published by Ellie Harries at 5:50am 14th February 2019.

There's already no charges on Sundays across Wiltshire, but a councillor is calling for it to cover the public holidays too.

Councillor Gavin Grant, from Malmesbury, wants to see free car parking extended.

Currently, Wiltshire Council run car parks in Salisbury and Amesbury are free after 3.00pm Monday to Saturday and all day on Sundays.

Cllr Grant proposes taking £60,000 from the council's £12 million reserves to introduce bank holiday free parking.

Free parking - parking meter covered up in Central car park Salisbury in May 2018
Free parking was introduced in Salisbury in 2018

That money would cover the loss of revenue to the authority.

Councillor Grant told a council meeting:

"The retail and hospitality industries are under so much pressure, they should get their opportunity to trade without restriction.

"If we don't make this amendment, I think we are sending out the wrong message to all of those businesses and those who are working so hard to promote our town centres.

"This is a modest amendment but I think symbolically it is important we show support."

The budget, which will be decided on the 26th February, only currently allows for one year of free parking on Sundays.

Free parking - parking meter covered up in Central car park Salisbury in May 2018
Parking meters were covered up in the aftermath of the spy poisoning incident

Free parking applies on Christmas Day but does not include:

  • Easter Monday
  • Good Friday
  • New Year's Day
  • Other bank holidays

The proposal has faced criticism from other councillors.

Cabinet mamber for highways Cllr Bridget Wayman said:

"£60,000 is a not an insignificant amount. Parking charges fund our bus services which are highly important in this rural county.

"We have 20,000 people without a car and 80,000 families with only one car who rely on bus services to get them to work in the town centres.

"Young people need the buses because they cannot drive or are too young to drive. Bus services are not just for the elderly."

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