Council earns £24k during ‘free’ parking scheme

St Helens Council received �24,000 in fees from days when parking was meant to be free

St Helens Council received �24,000 in fees from days when parking was meant to be free

  • Parking meters still accepting cash during ‘free’ Saturdays
  • Council collects £24,000 on days when parking should have been without charge
  • Claims not enough has been done to inform shoppers of the free parking scheme
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Council chiefs have collected over £24,000 in parking fees during what was intended as a trial scheme to provide free parking across the town on Saturdays.

Officials launched the initiative last August in a bid to encourage more shoppers into the town centre.

The council has done all it can to advise motorists that parking is free on Saturdays – through advertising, banners and prominent messages on payment machines

Town hall spokesman

But it has since emerged that all machines in council car park and on street meters still accept cash payments during ‘free Saturday’.

And many shoppers have continued to pay up even though they are entitled to park without charge.

That’s meant the council’s coffers have been swelled to the tune of £24,000.

Some shop owners claim not enough has been done to inform shoppers of the free trial - something the council denies.

A town hall spokesman said: “The council has done all it can to advise motorists that parking is free on Saturdays – through advertising, banners and prominent messages on payment machines.

“However some people still attempt to pay, even - on occasion – physically removing covers installed to prevent money being inserted into payment slots on Saturdays.

“Revenue gained in this way is channelled straight back into subsidising the free parking offer.”