Free after 3: Parking in Hitchin to be subsidised

PARKING charges in a town will no longer have to be paid after 3pm in some areas, in a bid to encourage visitors.

Hitchin BID (Business Improvement District) is funding free parking after 3pm every day of the week from tomorrow (Monday) in certain car parks.

It is hoped it will encourage shoppers into town, both in the lead up to Christmas and in the notoriously quieter months of January and February.

Money has been committed until the end of February, but a review will be carried out once that time comes.

Speaking at Hitchin area committee last week, town centre manager Keith Hoskins said: “We would like to fulfil our promise to people to supply some sort of discounted car parking.

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“We are committed to doing this for three months, but will come back and see if we want to continue.

“This is a real trial for us.”

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The free parking will be provided after 3pm in St Mary’s Square and Biggin Lane car parks. Currently, charges have to be paid up until 6pm Monday to Saturday, with Sundays free anyway.

The scheme is expected to cost nearly �12,000, with the BID committing �10,000 and Hitchin area committee agreeing to top up the rest.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Hoskins added: “This was a promise in our original BID prospectus.

“It has been accomplished now that North Herts District Council have installed new parking machines which were able to give us more accurate data.

“Hitchin BID continues to look at ways in which Hitchin can be promoted as the destination of choice and I am grateful to all the businesses who give us such encouraging support. Thanks are also due to the Hitchin community groups who are so appreciative of our efforts.”

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