A new parking scheme is being launched this week to boost trade at independent shops in a Sheffield suburb.
The ‘Parking Payback’ initiative is being run in Broomhill, and will give visitors the chance to take advantage of offers and promotions at participating shops using their pay-and-display tickets.
Businesses say the scheme - which starts on Monday - allows shoppers to effectively park for free, and it is hoped discounts will tempt people into using independent shops rather than chain stores.
The number of supermarkets in Broomhill has recently sparked concern - there are now branches of Spar, Tesco and Sainsbury’s just a short distance apart.
Coun Leigh Bramall, the city council’s cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “The traders in Broomhill were keen to generate more business in their area and we were pleased to work in partnership with them on this trial scheme.
“We will test the scheme to see how it works in practice and, if it proves to be successful, we hope to extend it and possibly roll it out into other parts of the city in the future.”
Meanwhile free Christmas parking is making a comeback in Sheffield city centre.
People will be able to leave their vehicles for no charge in allocated council car parks and on-street bays after 3pm on the next three Wednesdays, December 4, 11 and 18.
Two years ago the council caused controversy by scrapping free festive parking, which had operated on Wednesday nights and Saturdays in previous years.
In Broomhill, Parking Payback vouchers will be issued from ticket machines on-street and in the suburb’s council car parks.
The parking tickets are in two parts – one a parking ticket for displaying in the vehicle as usual and the other a payback voucher.
The voucher can be presented at participating shops displaying distinctive window stickers, which will then ‘pay back’ parking costs in the form of discounts and special offers.
Jonathan Bagge, owner of Pavilion Flowers on Glossop Road, said: “We believe this scheme will encourage more people to shop in this area.
“Broomhill has a fantastic array of superb individual shops, you really can provide for all your needs with what we have on offer.”
Mr Bagge added: “This gives us an opportunity to attract more customers to the area, and the chance to effectively park for free when you shop is sure to encourage more trade in what have been a tough few years for businesses.
“We were keen to get it started in the run up to Christmas, but it is important to give the scheme a fair trial into the New Year to assess just how effective it is.”
Coun Bramall said the Christmas city centre parking would also ‘help shoppers and businesses alike’.
“It’s important to support both business and local people where we can.
“I hope the ‘free from three’ parking will bring a little extra cheer to the people of Sheffield.
“By providing free car parking every Wednesday to coincide with late night shopping there’s even more reason to come into the city centre this Christmas.”
Blue and yellow stickers will be attached to pay and display machines, showing which bays are free.
Log on to www.sheffield.gov.uk/parkingpayback for more information about the Broomhill trial, or call 0114 273 4192.