Businesses should pay for free city parking

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Businesses should help fund free city centre parking in Sheffield, councillors say.

Plans to create a second business improvement district in the city centre are making progress, with £28,000 of Government cash awarded to help set up the scheme.

The districts work by allowing firms in an area to vote on any additional services they want to invest in to improve trading.

And if another one is created in Sheffield, following a ballot of businesses, it could generate an estimated £800,000 an year.

Coun Ian Auckland, Sheffield Liberal Democrat spokesman for local business, said: “Charging for parking on evenings on Sundays is yet another poorly-thought out policy from the council, which has dealt a real blow to city-centre businesses.

“We’ve already shown that by cutting back on pet projects elsewhere we can reverse this policy. However, with extra investment from this new fund, businesses could go further and deliver free parking on Saturdays as well.

“Ultimately, it’s up to city-centre businesses to decide how this funding will be spent but I believe a radical alternative on parking could deliver the boost that our city-centre desperately needs.”