Free Saturday parking in Blackburn town centre

Blackburn Citizen: INCENTIVE Council leader Kate Hollern and regeneration chief Dave Harling at Feilden Street car park which, along with others, will offer free parking INCENTIVE Council leader Kate Hollern and regeneration chief Dave Harling at Feilden Street car park which, along with others, will offer free parking

PARKING in council-run car parks in Blackburn town centre is to be made free on Saturdays in a bid to boost trade.

The move could give shoppers a saving of £1.20 for two hours and £2.30 for four which traders hope will be spent in their businesses.

The change, which comes into force from this Saturday, covers all 14 council-operated car parks in and around Blackburn centre with more than 1,200 spaces.

But it does not include on-street parking or privately owned sites.

It follows the recommendations of retail guru Mary Portas who says free parking is one of the best ways to boost high street trade.

It will operate for the rest of this year, through Christmas and the New Year sales and be reviewed on March 31.

And the scheme could even be extended to weekday afternoons.

The plan to scrap the charges, which will include those at the brand new £5million Feilden Street car park, takes into consideration the views of town centre businesses who said that parking fees were a weak spot for Blackburn.

Andrew Lightfoot, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s managing director of local government services, said: “Figures show that the town centre is still popular with shoppers despite the economic climate and it is holding its own, particularly against other similar-sized towns.

“It is intended that promotions like the free parking initiative will maintain this trend and as well as boosting high street names will support independents who find it harder to compete. We are one of the first large authorities to offer free parking in all council-owned car parks all day on Saturday.

“What private centre operators do is up to them. When we review this in March next year it could potentially lead to free parking on weekdays for shoppers.

“We think we are ahead of the game with our regeneration of the town centre with things like the £70million Mall/Market development and we want to stay ahead of it.”

Tony Duckworth, president of Blackburn Chamber of Trade, welcomed the move.

He said: “I am delighted that they are making this move. It is of huge importance to shoppers to be able to come to the town centre and park for free.

“We now have lovely open spaces in Blackburn like King William Street and Church Street which should be full of people enjoying themselves. Hopefully this - and a return of some good weather - will see them there doing just that in the sun on Saturdays at least.

“I am very pleased the council has listened to what we have been saying and hopefully this is just the beginning of a fruitful dialogue between us on the future of the town centre.”

Executive member for regeneration, Coun Dave Harling, said: "Our traders were telling us that this was something that they wanted to see introduced and we are committed to supporting local businesses so this was something we decided to take forward.

"We are very proud of the new market and the redevelopment of the shopping centre and we know that Blackburn is already a popular shopping destination.

"This new scheme will allow us to build on that and make the town centre even more attractive to shoppers."

Jack Straw, Blackburn MP, said: "This is a brilliant initiative and hopefully will attract even more shoppers to come to Blackburn's spectacular shopping facilities.”

The car parks included in the scheme are: Feilden Street - 513 spaces; Montague Street – 40 spaces; King Street – 25 spaces; Fleming Square – 11 spaces; Weir Street - 38 spaces; Mill Lane 30 spaces; Canterbury Street – 107 spaces; Barton Street – 42 spaces; Starkie Street – 128 spaces; Simmons Street – 10 spaces; Watford Street - 10 spaces; Byrom Street - 200 Spaces; Salford Car Park – 70 Spaces; Waves Car Park – 27 Spaces.

Most town centre car parks in Blackburn, which include Penny Street and Fielden Street, cost £1 for an hour and £1.20 for two hours while the Mall roof car park is £1 per hour, £1.20 for two and £2.30 for up to four hours.

What the traders say...

Phil Ainsworth, of Ainsworth’s Jewellers This is very welcome and will benefit the town. Let’s hope once customers hear about it, they will come and see all the developments.

Peter Hobkirk, of Hobkirk Sewing Machines It's fantastic, this is what we've been after. We've got competition from other towns and we need to get people in.

Mark Smith, of Coffee Exchange Like it or not parking, or most importantly the cost of parking, is what makes our town centres barren, and out of town free parking shopping centres busy.

Malcolm Marsden, of Whitakers Butchers It will definitely make a difference. Saturday is the busiest shopping day so it will get people coming in. It is long overdue.

Fiza O’Conner, of Alan Rene hair salon It will be good for the whole town centre. We get lots of our customers given tickets for over staying just a few minutes. It’s really good news.

Susan Sumner, of Butlers Family Restaurant It is really good news. It will bring lots more people into the town centre. Hopefully they will come in, shop and have something to eat.

What the shoppers say...

Marlene Sharples, 64, Blackburn More people will come if free parking is introduced. Parking charges put a lot of people off. I don’t think it would put anyone off! The town needs something.

Emma Walsh, 18, Blackburn Free parking would put people off because it’s too busy to park and to shop. I get taxis in to Blackburn and if it’s too busy it’s hard to push the pram.

Melissa Lee, 29, Rossendale It’s good news for us because the main time we go shopping is a Saturday. Free parking will bring more people to the town.I don’t mind paying, but not the amount some car parks charge.

James Cormier, 29, Rossendale It’s not too bad when it’s only £1 to park on a Sunday. To most people, that’s not too much. If it was free, I would come in to Blackburn more often.

Stuart Frost, 50, Blackburn I think it’s a good idea. It would bring more people in to the town. I think the parking charges put a lot of people off.

Kenneth Lee, 70, Blackburn I don't bring my car anywhere near the town centre. I get the bus or walk. It’s inconvenient to drive - you have to find a car park, look for spaces and then pay for parking.

Comments (24)

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11:08am Tue 3 Jul 12

timeforcommonsense says...

Why can't it be free full stop? Accrington has an abundance of free parking.
Why can't it be free full stop? Accrington has an abundance of free parking. timeforcommonsense

11:17am Tue 3 Jul 12

manin8lack says...

TELL THE COUNCIL TO RE-INSTALL OUR LAMMACK BUS SERVICE AND YES WE MIGHT SHOP IN BLACKBURN AGAIN
TELL THE COUNCIL TO RE-INSTALL OUR LAMMACK BUS SERVICE AND YES WE MIGHT SHOP IN BLACKBURN AGAIN manin8lack

11:37am Tue 3 Jul 12

burner says...

Good news and forward thinking. Unfortunately there will now be a lack of available spaces, won't there? Pity. It would help if the Mall were to be included.
Good news and forward thinking. Unfortunately there will now be a lack of available spaces, won't there? Pity. It would help if the Mall were to be included. burner

11:38am Tue 3 Jul 12

midas says...

Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!!
.
People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges.
Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!! . People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges. midas

11:59am Tue 3 Jul 12

egroeg says...

midas wrote:
Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!!
.
People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges.
dont be so negative, of course free parking will get people into town even if it is a saving of just£1.20p at least it will get people in, then they may see something they want and buy it thats the whole idea you wont buy if you dont go into the centre more free parking i say.
[quote][p][bold]midas[/bold] wrote: Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!! . People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges.[/p][/quote]dont be so negative, of course free parking will get people into town even if it is a saving of just£1.20p at least it will get people in, then they may see something they want and buy it thats the whole idea you wont buy if you dont go into the centre more free parking i say. egroeg

11:59am Tue 3 Jul 12

egroeg says...

midas wrote:
Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!!
.
People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges.
dont be so negative, of course free parking will get people into town even if it is a saving of just£1.20p at least it will get people in, then they may see something they want and buy it thats the whole idea you wont buy if you dont go into the centre more free parking i say.
[quote][p][bold]midas[/bold] wrote: Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!! . People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges.[/p][/quote]dont be so negative, of course free parking will get people into town even if it is a saving of just£1.20p at least it will get people in, then they may see something they want and buy it thats the whole idea you wont buy if you dont go into the centre more free parking i say. egroeg

11:59am Tue 3 Jul 12

egroeg says...

midas wrote:
Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!!
.
People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges.
dont be so negative, of course free parking will get people into town even if it is a saving of just£1.20p at least it will get people in, then they may see something they want and buy it thats the whole idea you wont buy if you dont go into the centre more free parking i say.
[quote][p][bold]midas[/bold] wrote: Saving £1.20 - that will bring the big spenders rushing back to town!! . People spend more on petrol driving to a "free parking" destination than they do in car park charges.[/p][/quote]dont be so negative, of course free parking will get people into town even if it is a saving of just£1.20p at least it will get people in, then they may see something they want and buy it thats the whole idea you wont buy if you dont go into the centre more free parking i say. egroeg

12:01pm Tue 3 Jul 12

Your ferret stinks says...

And this is all Mary Portas's idea, makes me wonder why no-one else thought of this, gosh she's a clever lady.
Still not coming to town though as i'm too set in my ways now going to retail parks where there are more than just pastie shops and pound shops.
And this is all Mary Portas's idea, makes me wonder why no-one else thought of this, gosh she's a clever lady. Still not coming to town though as i'm too set in my ways now going to retail parks where there are more than just pastie shops and pound shops. Your ferret stinks

12:04pm Tue 3 Jul 12

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

Great I'm really pleased apart from how do I drive in and most importantly how do I get out again.
Great I'm really pleased apart from how do I drive in and most importantly how do I get out again. Michael@ClitheroeSince58

12:18pm Tue 3 Jul 12

burner says...

The point is you park and stay and BROWSE all you want. No need to rush back before your ticker expires. It's not about saving £1.20. It's the freedom to walk around calmly.
.
.Also . . . . all those folk who will not be at Ewood will be in the Pound Shops ! Win / Win for the traders.
The point is you park and stay and BROWSE all you want. No need to rush back before your ticker expires. It's not about saving £1.20. It's the freedom to walk around calmly. . .Also . . . . all those folk who will not be at Ewood will be in the Pound Shops ! Win / Win for the traders. burner

12:32pm Tue 3 Jul 12

mavrick says...

timeforcommonsense wrote:
Why can't it be free full stop? Accrington has an abundance of free parking.
Although Accrington has had free parking, I am afraid the Town Centre is dead on its feet. The only way to regenerate any town is to have decent employment which will put money in peoples pockets, The ideas Mary Portas is suggesting are old hat, Her fancy prices show which planet she has been living on. We have sufficient knowledge and expertise already in place. Perhaps Mary needs some lessons from real experts.
But free parking is a great asset to any town centre. The fancy idea of the previous environmentalists to make every one use public transport, was futile to say the least. It seems councils might be learning the lesson that cars are a necessary part of modern day living and have to be catered for. other ideas may help but we must get people working again, and not in minimum wage jobs.
[quote][p][bold]timeforcommonsense[/bold] wrote: Why can't it be free full stop? Accrington has an abundance of free parking.[/p][/quote]Although Accrington has had free parking, I am afraid the Town Centre is dead on its feet. The only way to regenerate any town is to have decent employment which will put money in peoples pockets, The ideas Mary Portas is suggesting are old hat, Her fancy prices show which planet she has been living on. We have sufficient knowledge and expertise already in place. Perhaps Mary needs some lessons from real experts. But free parking is a great asset to any town centre. The fancy idea of the previous environmentalists to make every one use public transport, was futile to say the least. It seems councils might be learning the lesson that cars are a necessary part of modern day living and have to be catered for. other ideas may help but we must get people working again, and not in minimum wage jobs. mavrick

12:34pm Tue 3 Jul 12

midas says...

burner wrote:
The point is you park and stay and BROWSE all you want. No need to rush back before your ticker expires. It's not about saving £1.20. It's the freedom to walk around calmly. . .Also . . . . all those folk who will not be at Ewood will be in the Pound Shops ! Win / Win for the traders.
I am genuinely astonished that the rational behind this decision is to attract more browsers on the (off) chance that they will then spend some money. I would have never even thought that.
.
I may be wrong but I cannot see many men thinking "I know, I'm boycotting Ewood so I will go into town and do some window shopping - its free".
[quote][p][bold]burner[/bold] wrote: The point is you park and stay and BROWSE all you want. No need to rush back before your ticker expires. It's not about saving £1.20. It's the freedom to walk around calmly. . .Also . . . . all those folk who will not be at Ewood will be in the Pound Shops ! Win / Win for the traders.[/p][/quote]I am genuinely astonished that the rational behind this decision is to attract more browsers on the (off) chance that they will then spend some money. I would have never even thought that. . I may be wrong but I cannot see many men thinking "I know, I'm boycotting Ewood so I will go into town and do some window shopping - its free". midas

2:12pm Tue 3 Jul 12

garydavies2304 says...

2 hrs free parking down the darwen street side would help to keep my shop open. help save darwen street we are still trading down here.
2 hrs free parking down the darwen street side would help to keep my shop open. help save darwen street we are still trading down here. garydavies2304

2:36pm Tue 3 Jul 12

burner says...

re Ewood millions - Did you miss out on the sarcasm gene, midas?
.
Freedom to browse? - give it a think-about !
re Ewood millions - Did you miss out on the sarcasm gene, midas? . Freedom to browse? - give it a think-about ! burner

4:40pm Tue 3 Jul 12

2 for 5p says...

Your ferret stinks wrote:
And this is all Mary Portas's idea, makes me wonder why no-one else thought of this, gosh she's a clever lady.
Still not coming to town though as i'm too set in my ways now going to retail parks where there are more than just pastie shops and pound shops.
your ferret is right

Blackburn is mostly made up of £1 shops pie annd pastie cheap tat, and other rubbish pawn brookers cheq cashing, people are not going to travel to use these or should I say decent people.

Give the customer good quality products at a fair and reasonable price, products they want just like Blackburn about 25 years ago.
[quote][p][bold]Your ferret stinks[/bold] wrote: And this is all Mary Portas's idea, makes me wonder why no-one else thought of this, gosh she's a clever lady. Still not coming to town though as i'm too set in my ways now going to retail parks where there are more than just pastie shops and pound shops.[/p][/quote]your ferret is right Blackburn is mostly made up of £1 shops pie annd pastie cheap tat, and other rubbish pawn brookers cheq cashing, people are not going to travel to use these or should I say decent people. Give the customer good quality products at a fair and reasonable price, products they want just like Blackburn about 25 years ago. 2 for 5p

6:08pm Tue 3 Jul 12

district01 says...

It’s refreshing to see some thought eventually put into the obvious. Blackburn with Darwen Council leading the way!
It’s refreshing to see some thought eventually put into the obvious. Blackburn with Darwen Council leading the way! district01

6:58pm Tue 3 Jul 12

bossindian says...

Unfortunately by making it free parking all day a lot of the council car parks will be full of the cars of people who work in the shopping centre and market. It would have made sense to have a 4 or 5 hour free parking limit, no return within 1 hour.
Unfortunately by making it free parking all day a lot of the council car parks will be full of the cars of people who work in the shopping centre and market. It would have made sense to have a 4 or 5 hour free parking limit, no return within 1 hour. bossindian

7:39pm Tue 3 Jul 12

burner says...

I know what I would do if I drove to work in the town centre.
I know what I would do if I drove to work in the town centre. burner

8:01pm Tue 3 Jul 12

2 for 5p says...

bossindian wrote:
Unfortunately by making it free parking all day a lot of the council car parks will be full of the cars of people who work in the shopping centre and market. It would have made sense to have a 4 or 5 hour free parking limit, no return within 1 hour.
oh that's it bossindian
you just kick the worker you scab
[quote][p][bold]bossindian[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately by making it free parking all day a lot of the council car parks will be full of the cars of people who work in the shopping centre and market. It would have made sense to have a 4 or 5 hour free parking limit, no return within 1 hour.[/p][/quote]oh that's it bossindian you just kick the worker you scab 2 for 5p

8:58pm Tue 3 Jul 12

DoyouknowhoIam? says...

I can't believe no one is too concerned about the £5,000,000 The Council spent on the Fielden Street White Elephant. Sorry car park.

What an astonishing waste of our money this was and is now, because of the free parking, an even greater waste - if that's possible.

Who in their right minds thought that building a car park on the periphery of the Town would be useful? Did they really think they'd fill it with Waves users? Surely not.

Whoever did the market research and whoever chose them (Capita no doubt) should hang their heads in shame and compensate the Council Tax payers of the Town for this gross incompetence.

Barclays have nothing on Blackburn With Darwen BC.
I can't believe no one is too concerned about the £5,000,000 The Council spent on the Fielden Street White Elephant. Sorry car park. What an astonishing waste of our money this was and is now, because of the free parking, an even greater waste - if that's possible. Who in their right minds thought that building a car park on the periphery of the Town would be useful? Did they really think they'd fill it with Waves users? Surely not. Whoever did the market research and whoever chose them (Capita no doubt) should hang their heads in shame and compensate the Council Tax payers of the Town for this gross incompetence. Barclays have nothing on Blackburn With Darwen BC. DoyouknowhoIam?

9:03pm Tue 3 Jul 12

M.DANNY says...

For years i told you give free parking on Evenings and weekends to bring back more shoppers back to Blackburn town centre.Many shops are closed down and many stores have even shut down in the Mall.Blackburn cannot compete with Preston,Bolton and Manchester.The only alternative is free parking for Blackburn .There is no other alternative for Blackburn.If we want more shoppers back to Blackburn like small town Accrington is to allow more free parking.The Mall has failed to attract more stores to Blackburn ,many big names are not coming to Blackburn.
For years i told you give free parking on Evenings and weekends to bring back more shoppers back to Blackburn town centre.Many shops are closed down and many stores have even shut down in the Mall.Blackburn cannot compete with Preston,Bolton and Manchester.The only alternative is free parking for Blackburn .There is no other alternative for Blackburn.If we want more shoppers back to Blackburn like small town Accrington is to allow more free parking.The Mall has failed to attract more stores to Blackburn ,many big names are not coming to Blackburn. M.DANNY

8:41pm Wed 4 Jul 12

bossindian says...

DoyouknowhoIam? wrote:
I can't believe no one is too concerned about the £5,000,000 The Council spent on the Fielden Street White Elephant. Sorry car park.

What an astonishing waste of our money this was and is now, because of the free parking, an even greater waste - if that's possible.

Who in their right minds thought that building a car park on the periphery of the Town would be useful? Did they really think they'd fill it with Waves users? Surely not.

Whoever did the market research and whoever chose them (Capita no doubt) should hang their heads in shame and compensate the Council Tax payers of the Town for this gross incompetence.

Barclays have nothing on Blackburn With Darwen BC.
In 12 months time hundreds of council staff will relocate to the old telecom building next to the college, which is currently being refurbished. Fielding street car park will provide the parking needed for these staff.
[quote][p][bold]DoyouknowhoIam?[/bold] wrote: I can't believe no one is too concerned about the £5,000,000 The Council spent on the Fielden Street White Elephant. Sorry car park. What an astonishing waste of our money this was and is now, because of the free parking, an even greater waste - if that's possible. Who in their right minds thought that building a car park on the periphery of the Town would be useful? Did they really think they'd fill it with Waves users? Surely not. Whoever did the market research and whoever chose them (Capita no doubt) should hang their heads in shame and compensate the Council Tax payers of the Town for this gross incompetence. Barclays have nothing on Blackburn With Darwen BC.[/p][/quote]In 12 months time hundreds of council staff will relocate to the old telecom building next to the college, which is currently being refurbished. Fielding street car park will provide the parking needed for these staff. bossindian

8:47pm Wed 4 Jul 12

bossindian says...

2 for 5p wrote:
bossindian wrote:
Unfortunately by making it free parking all day a lot of the council car parks will be full of the cars of people who work in the shopping centre and market. It would have made sense to have a 4 or 5 hour free parking limit, no return within 1 hour.
oh that's it bossindian
you just kick the worker you scab
Just stating the obvious - shoppers won't get a look in. Not sure why that makes me a scab but I wont lose any sleep over it.
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bossindian[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately by making it free parking all day a lot of the council car parks will be full of the cars of people who work in the shopping centre and market. It would have made sense to have a 4 or 5 hour free parking limit, no return within 1 hour.[/p][/quote]oh that's it bossindian you just kick the worker you scab[/p][/quote]Just stating the obvious - shoppers won't get a look in. Not sure why that makes me a scab but I wont lose any sleep over it. bossindian

1:18pm Sat 7 Jul 12

blackburncarpets says...

Blackburn Cash&Carry Carpets...They should extend it to free on Street parking too! £1.30 just to nip into a shop disgusting!
Blackburn Cash&Carry Carpets...They should extend it to free on Street parking too! £1.30 just to nip into a shop disgusting! blackburncarpets

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