Traders say no to car parking refund plans

Shop owners and traders pictured on the newly developed Market Street in Kettering town centre after its first stage of completion.

Shop owners and traders pictured on the newly developed Market Street in Kettering town centre after its first stage of completion.

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Traders in a town look set to snub the idea of putting a parking refund scheme in place.

Kettering Council asked businesses at the start of June whether they would be interested in the scheme, which would mean customers will be eligible for a refund with a minimum spend in certain stores.

But the authority admits the response rate has been ‘low’, and from 10 businesses the Telegraph contacted, only two said they would be interested in it.

Head of environmental health at the council, Shirley Plenderleith, said: “We have had a low response rate but the for those who have shown an interest, their feedback has been good.

“I think it will appeal to some businesses but not others.

“I think it’s a novel idea for the town, we haven’t had anything like this, and it may take a bit of getting used to.”

The council will wait until the end of the month and then decide on whether to take the proposal forward.

The authority has said it was approached by an unnamed retailer in the town for the possibility of introducing a refund system, in the same vein as supermarket car parking.

If enough traders say yes, the council will look to print new tickets with refund vouchers on them.

Town ticket machines are currently being being upgraded with new software.

The council will subsidise this upgrade but then leave it to the traders to put a scheme in place.

Gary Sherwood, general manager of Magnolia the Florist, in Market Street, said: “Myself and the director think it’s a complete waste of time, money, and effort.”

“If the council say it will cost money to introduce, perhaps they should put that cash towards lowering parking charges.”

Meanwhile, the council has said it will still look to introduce an eco-bus link to local amenities this summer, despite failing to secure Portas Pilot money.