A COUNCIL scheme to halve the cost of parking permits in East Staffordshire could encourage more shoppers to head into the area in the run up to Christmas, it has been claimed.
East Staffordshire Borough Council has slashed the price of passes bought between now and the end of the year in a bid to get more people into the town and its shops, the authority has said.
The council, which is running this scheme for the first time, claims it will also give a boost to families feeling the financial squeeze at this time of year.
Councillor Julia Jessel, deputy leader for regulatory services, said: “We hope that this sale on parking permits goes some way to helping customers and hard working people in these difficult economic times.
“It comes from wanting to encourage more people to shop in our town centres before and after Christmas to help the local economy.”
It will also save people the inconvenience of looking for change for the car park, she added.
The permits, which are available for three, six and 12-month periods, already offer a saving on parking, with somebody parking five days a week for four or more hours at the Burton Place car park for three months saving almost £400 compared to meter payments.
With the half-price offer, it will cost just £60 to park for three months.
The council has denied the move is linked to the recent revelation that it collected £40,000 less than anticipated in parking fines between July and September.
Councillor Jessel (pictured) suggested the reduction was a positive thing for the council.
She said: “We really want to avoid people parking badly or wrongly and as a result of effective enforcement, parking fines income has now reduced. Parking behaviour has changed in some locations across the borough but we still have difficulties in some areas, including outside schools.”