Fall in trade prompts council’s free parking project

Southwick Square car park, pictured in 2014
Southwick Square car park, pictured in 2014

A fall in trade has seen a council step in to help businesses with a free parking project.

Parking fees will be waived in the Southwick Square car park on each Saturday until the end of the year after Adur District Council secured a one-off pot of government cash.

The move comes after traders said an increase in tariffs last year coincided with a fall in footfall.

Nikki Lilley, manager of Peter Marson Opticians and secretary of the Southwick Traders’ Association, said: “The whole idea is to bring people back to shop in the square rather than those people going to other areas that offer free parking.

“The response we have had from local residents so far has been fantastic – they can’t wait to come down here to shop to their heart’s content.

“Southwick has a lot of independent traders who all offer a really good personal service, which means once they come a few times they are likely to keep on coming back.”

The scheme will start on Saturday (September 30) and run until the end of December.

Officials say this will give time to work with traders on developing a long-term solution.

Councillor Emma Evans, Adur District Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “As a council we are always looking to listen to and support our local traders, who are the lifeblood of our local economy.

“Southwick Square plays an integral part in the town’s community so I’m delighted that we are able to support traders in this way. I urge shoppers to take advantage of the scheme and visit some of the excellent independent shops that Southwick has to offer, especially with Christmas approaching.”