Chris welcomes boost for town centre shops

Yorkshire Party Deputy Leader Chris Whitwood has welcomed a boost for Doncaster’s town centre shops with a free parking scheme over Christmas.

Chris, who made increasing town centre footfall a key part of his by-election campaign in Town Ward this spring, said the Yorkshire Party had a detailed strategy to help the county’s shopping centres.

“The Yorkshire Party’s plan to cut car parking costs, reconsider race-day shuttle bus routes to encourage visitors to walk through the town centre rather than bypassing it on route to the racecourse and the introduction of periods of free parking year round would have the dual benefits of boosting local businesses and reducing pressure on residents affected by on-street parking, he said.

Chris Whitwood          Picture: Robbie MacDonald

“The run up to Christmas is for many people one of the busiest times of the year. For shops, this is particularly true as we seek out the perfect gifts for family and friends.,” he said in comments also carried in a letter to The Yorkshire Post.

“The changing mindset from shopping in chains and mega-stores, that some condemn as symbols as rampant commercialism, to striving to find gifts that area little more unique has been a saving grace for many of Yorkshire’s independent retailers.

“In a time of increasing online spending and economic uncertainty, the trend to buy local is at the heart of revitalising our town centres.

“However, if the personal touch of the High Street is to exist outside our collective nostalgia and survive the harsh light of economic reality, we must ensure small/medium enterprises and town-centre market traders can compete. 

“I was pleased to read that Doncaster Council would again be offering free car parking at Markets Car Park, St Georges Car Park and Colonnades Car Park after 2pm from Saturday December 1 to Friday January 4.

“Doncaster Council should be praised for taking a step in the right direction towards. Nevertheless, we must remember that as important as this time of year is, businesses have to survive all year round. If Yorkshire’s village, town and city centres are truly going to prosper such initiatives must extend throughout the year.

“Therefore, the Yorkshire Party will continue to champion local businesses that are at the heart of our communities and Yorkshire’s future success.”

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