The local Conservatives, with the support of Milton Keynes two MPs, Iain Stewart and Ben Everitt, have pledged to introduce free car parking in Central Milton Keynes if they take control of MK Council in May’s elections.
The campaign aims to get MK’s economy bouncing back as local businesses begin to open their doors once again following months of being closed due to the national lockdown.
The MK Conservatives want to encourage more people back to the shopping centre to help kickstart the local economy and protect jobs in industries that have struggled throughout the pandemic such as retail and hospitality.
In July 2020, 72% of respondents on an MKFM poll said that “free parking would encourage them to shop on the high street”. The Conservative Group also received over 1,000 signatures on a petition calling for two hours free parking at CMK.
The pledge comes as councils up and down the country announce the introduction of free parking schemes to help boost their local economy as businesses open their doors.
Leeds, Dorchester, Bishop Stortford, Wakefield, Havering and neighbouring Buckinghamshire Council are all offering free parking as part of their roadmap to recovery.
However, free parking has remained absent from the Labour-led MK Council’s economy recovery with the group stating it “would not help retail”.
Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the Conservative Group, said:
“We need to be doing everything possible to support small businesses, protect jobs and get our economy bouncing back.
With businesses reopening their doors, our offer of free parking would encourage people to return to help out their local shops, restaurants and cafes safely while providing a welcome boost to local businesses.”