CBC Plans Free Parking Saturdays

In a bid to add a boost to High Streets in Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, Central Bedfordshire Council is to offer free parking Saturdays.

The car parks taking part in the scheme will be two in Dunstable at Priory Gardens and Ashton Square and two in Leighton Buzzard at Hockliffe Street and Duncombe Drive. An exact starting date will be announced shortly after taking account of any further COVID-19 related announcements made in the days to come by the Prime Minister.

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said, “We want to press ahead with this temporary measure as soon as possible.

“But we did want to let residents, High Street businesses and traders know that we have been listening to them and developing a scheme to support them but one where we will also be able to measure the impacts.

“We recognise the importance of the period leading into Christmas for traders and believe this will support them in this critical period up to and including the January sales and ending shortly after.

“While it is important to support local businesses, we also want to keep our residents safe.

We believe offering a full day of free parking offers the best way of ensuring people continue to socially distance both in car parks and in High Street shops.

“This temporary measure will help us develop a clearer picture about whether offering free parking really does have economic benefits or simply moves shopping from other days of the week to the free day and whether it raises any social distancing concerns.”