MP Esther McVey says introducing an hours free parking in Wilmslow could increase footfall into the town centre and help the high street recover from the pandemic.
The MP surveyed 20 to 22 small businesses in the town and says the results showed parking was a major concern among all respondents who believed parking charges are too high and reinstated too soon after lockdown.
Ms McVey said: "Businesses are telling me parking prices are having a detrimental effect on them. Parking prices in Wilmslow are more expensive than other areas which is deterring people from shopping there. Not only are charges too high for customers, but traders are having to pay large sums every day to park to work.
"One solution could be offering an hour free parking which could increase footfall in the area and it is an issue I will be discussing with Cheshire East Council. Businesses have really suffered throughout the pandemic and we need to be creative in ways to help them and by making a small change it could make a huge difference to the number of people they get through the door each day. As we recover, we all need to support our local shops and businesses to help keep people in jobs and put money back into our local economy."
Ms McVey will now be speaking with local councillors and Cheshire East bosses to see what can be done regarding parking and initiatives to increase footfall in the area.
Wilmslow Councillor Hannan Sarwar said: "Speaking to business it is very clear that the parking charges are impacting footfall. Alarmingly, nearly all businesses felt that the parking charges were too high. This is very concerning.
"In response to the survey, all respondents stated that more needed to be done to increase footfall in the Town Centre. It is clear that more needs to be done. The businesses have set a clear directive about they feel is needed and as the Conservative Group on Wilmslow Town Council, we will be looking into ways in which we can enable this."
The survey from Ms McVey asked businesses their views on how Government supported them throughout the pandemic and what more needs to be done to keep staff in jobs as the country begins its recovery.
Other issues raised by Wilmslow businesses including fixing the gate on Grove Street and ensuring it is closed between 10am and 4pm, tackling business rates and encouraging more shops to set up in the town.
What you do you think about the call for a free hours parking? Would it encourage you to shop more in the town centre? Share your views via the comment box below.