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Free parking in Stafford and Stone offered to boost "shop local" initiative

Shoppers will be able to park for free in Stafford and Stone town centres this afternoon from 1pm (2 February).

Stafford Borough Council has introduced the free parking offer to encourage more people to shop in both town centres to boost trade for local businesses.

The move was put forward to benefit residents and visitors following the traditional first pay day of the year.

Parking charges have been waived from 1pm on all Stafford Borough Council car parks in the two towns - except the Riverside and Waterfront car parks in Stafford.

There is a variety of independent and big name stores in Stafford town centre and top places to grab a drink and a bite to eat.

Stone also has a great mix of shops, cafes and restaurants and this Saturday will also see the popular ‘Farmer’s Market’.

Nicola Lewis, owner of popular fashion boutique Mirella in Stone, said: “What a great idea. It’s traditionally our monthly Farmers market and our town sees greater footfall because of this.

"Having the benefit of free parking for visitors to Stone will encourage more people to visit the town and for longer periods.

"This is a real positive step and will support the continued growth our high street is experiencing”

Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, said: “Money is tight after the festive period. Many people will have their first pay packet of the year this week and we want to encourage them to get what they need in our town centres – which is why we decided to have a free pay day parking offer.

“As well as shopping I hope people will grab the opportunity of eating or drinking in the number of cafes and restaurants in Stafford and Stone.” 

The council has already agreed to freeze charges on all their car parks for 2019. It meant no price increase on hourly tariffs, or season tickets, for any of the 20 short or long stay cars parks in Stafford and Stone run by the boroughcouncil.

Most borough council car parks offer cash free parking throughout the year so visitors to the town centres can pay for their parking using their mobile phones, and top it up without having to return to their cars.

Details of where to park in Stafford and Stone town centres can be found at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/carparks 

More information on where and how you can use cash-free parking is available at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/cash-free-parking

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