Parking in Shrewsbury will continue to be free from 6pm after Shropshire Council’s Cabinet agreed to amend its new parking strategy at its meeting yesterday (5 September 2018).

The decision follows discussions between Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury BID at which the BID raised concerns about plans to introduce charging until 8pm on-street and in the Bridge Street, St Austin’s Street and Quarry swimming centre car parks.

The decision means that parking will remain free after 6pm in Shrewsbury both on-street, and in all Shropshire Council owned car parks – with the exception of Raven Meadows multi-storey, for which charges will apply until midnight initially, before 24-hour opening comes into effect later in the year.

At the same time there will be free parking on Sundays and bank holidays in Frankwell and Abbey Foregate, 15 minutes’ ‘pop and shop’ free parking in all car parks, discounted weekly and season tickets in Frankwell and Abbey Foregate, and parking for up to five hours in Frankwell and Abbey Foregate will be cheaper than it is now.

Ann Ditella, owner of Loopy Shrew, Darwin’s Kitchen and Darwin’s Townhouse commented:

“As a family run business group with a number of operations servicing the evening and night time customer, this news is warmly welcomed and frankly a great relief. The BID has fought continuously on our behalf to counter what many of us felt was a deeply detrimental move for the night time economy. This free parking will make a significant difference for many businesses who were dismayed at the idea of new charging penalising the evening visitor to the town.”

Seb Slater, Executive Director of Shrewsbury BID comented:

“This is a major win for Shrewsbury businesses. We are delighted that the council has listened to our members and the wider public about the vital importance of free car parking for the night time economy. Removal of these charges along with the other amendments we have already negotiated for the daytime economy will be welcome news for all businesses.”

“Throughout this process, we have lobbied the Council on this strategy to ensure the voice of the business is heard and that it reflects their views on this crucial aspect which affects trading within the town. This proves the council are willing to listen and we have agreed to work with them on the promotion and development of the car parking strategy moving forward.”