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“Free after 3” parking to promote downtown Burnley recreation

Parking in the city center is said to be free after 3 p.m. to improve the shopping area.

Burnley Council is rolling out the program next month to help companies recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Every day of the week, all 16 short term parking spaces with 1,059 spaces in downtown Burnley are applied.

The ‘Free after 3’ concession begins on April 12th, when non-essential stores are to be reopened.

It runs seven days a week for three months before being reviewed for an extension.

Fees continue to apply at other times of the day and in other community-operated parking lots in other locations in the district.

The proposal was welcomed by the Burnley Business Improvement District.

Council Chairman Cllr Mark Townsend said, “The government’s roadmap out of the Covid restrictions calls for non-essential stores and gyms to reopen and other restrictions lifted on April 12th.

“We want as many people as possible to come to Burnley city center, but always make sure that Covid is safe.

“Offering free parking after 3pm will encourage shoppers to come into town in the afternoon to extend shopping throughout the day and spread visits over a longer part of the day.”

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District growth chief Cllr Asif Raja said, “This is great news for buyers and local businesses.

“The city center becomes quieter in the afternoon.

“Offering free parking after 3pm is an incentive for people to come in a little later to avoid the midday rush hour.”

Cllr Gordon Birtwistle, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Group on the Council, said: “I think this is a very positive move.

“There are many businesses in downtown Burnley that are closed that I fear will never reopen.”

His Conservative counterpart Alan Hosker said, “I believe that all community parking in downtown Burnley and Padiham should be completely free for 12 months to help shopkeepers rebuild after Covid.”

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