Published: October 17, 2013
Calls for free Christmas parking to make Burnham 'shopper-friendly'

Town councillors have this week called for free car parking to be introduced in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge during the run-up to Christmas to make the towns more shopper-friendly.

Councillors want to see the normal parking fees dropped in town centre car parks such as Pier Street (pictured), Lynton Road and Oxford Street.

At a meeting of the Town Council on Monday, councillors expressed their disappointment that Sedgemoor District Council - which runs the car parks - has apparently waived fees in Bridgwater but not done so in Burnham.

Cllr Helen Groves said: "Sedgemoor should be encouraging business in the town and providing free parking each weekend before Christmas."

"Sedgemoor earns £520 per day profit from parking fees in the two towns, so we are only talking about a £1,040 cost for a weekend's parking. It would be great for shoppers and would also serve as a nice 'thank you' to traders who pay high business rates in the town centre."

"We should not be asked by Sedgemoor to hold a specific event in the town in order to get the free parking - it should be available regardless in the run-up to Christmas."

The comments follow a debate at Monday's Town Council meeting. Cllr Ken Smout added: "Burnham should be treated the same as other towns in the district - more clarity is needed from Sedgemoor."

Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade this week said it supports the calls for more free parking. A spokesman told "Any initiatives that help our town businesses and encourage people to do their shopping locally are welcome."


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