From Monday 10 December, shoppers in Brighouse will be able to park for free for an hour on-street in the town centre in the run-up to Christmas.
At a meeting of the Brighouse Town Board earlier this week, Calderdale Council announced that it will be temporarily reintroducing the full hour of free on-street parking to help boost business in the town before Christmas, in response to concerns from traders about reduced footfall.
Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, said: “We want to do everything we can to support Brighouse’s great businesses and encourage people to visit the town for shopping and leisure, especially over the festive period.
“We have talked to traders and listened to their concerns about the new parking charges.
"Together, we agreed that it would be helpful to temporarily go back to the original arrangement of one hour’s free parking. We’re still limiting the parking time to an hour to ensure continued availability of spaces to bring in more shoppers.
“During the next few weeks we will be working with Brighouse BID to look at longer-term options for parking in the town centre.”
The parking bays have a maximum stay of one hour, no return within one hour. This is a change from the introduction of new charges to Brighouse parking where only the first half hour will be free with a second half hour costing 20p, with a one hour limit.
Lesley Adams, Chair of the Brighouse BID Steering Group, said: “We are delighted that Calderdale Council has listened to us and taken our comments on board.
"We were concerned about the impact that the introduction of on street parking charges had had on businesses. Fewer people were coming to the town centre and as they only had half an hour free they were spending less time and less money.
"It has had a severe impact on small independent organisations.
"Moving forward into the New Year we will continue to work together on the issue.
"It’s great that the council has realised that all the towns in Calderdale are different and everywhere needs a different parking policy.”
The temporary change in parking charges only applies to Brighouse, but some think the same method should be used across Calderdale.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor James Baker, said: “The council should do the same everywhere. If this is good for business in Brighouse, then surely it would help in Halifax, Todmorden, Sowerby Bridge and all the other towns throughout Calderdale.
“Calderdale Council needs to be fair to everywhere in Calderdale”