8 December 2016
Free parking makes an impact on CBD
Gore retailers will be adding a splash of colour to the central business area this month with new parking meter covers to promote free parking in the town.
The green covers make their first public appearance tonight (Thursday 8 December) for the Christmas late night shopping.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said the Council was happy to be able to offer free parking on selected dates in December to locals and visitors alike.
“As a former retailer I know the challenges business can face even at busy times. So any small thing we can do to make it easier for people to shop local has to be good.”
While a number of councils were providing free parking in response to retail spending declining, in Gore it was part of a wider strategy to enhance the CBD.
The free wifi launched earlier this year in town was also part of that strategy, Mr Hicks said.
When looking at providing free parking again this year, the Council wanted to make a visual impact that would promote the initiative as well as promote the District and GoRetail.
‘I think we have certainly achieved that with green covers for parking meters” quipped Mr Hicks.
GoRetail steering group member Ivan van de Water said retailers and shoppers appreciated the Council’s gesture.
“We got a lot of positive feedback from shoppers last year but there was a little confusion around when free parking was on offer.”
The bags will certainly eliminate that, he said.
First Retail director Chris Wilkinson, who has worked closely with retailers and the Council on the GoRetail initiative, applauded the collaboration between local government and local business.
“GoRetail has enabled an agile and dynamic response to commercial opportunities particularly around retaining spending and goodwill within the town centre.”
Mr van de Water said selected retailers have responsibility for specific areas. It will be their job to put the bags out each morning and take them in at night.
“Being made of nylon, the bags will last a long time if we look after them,” he said.
Free parking will be on offer every weekend this month and for the week leading up to Christmas; that is from Monday 19 December to Saturday 24 December.