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Fourth Straight Year of Shoppers' Car Park Charge Freezes

January 31, 2014 8:16 PM

Mayor Dave Hodgson with the car parks sign on Horne Lane, Bedford

All parking charges in Bedford town centre have been frozen for 2014, in a further major boost for local shoppers and businesses. The freeze applies to all town centre car parks and all on-street parking charges, meaning the real cost of parking in Bedford is falling yet again. The move means that 2014 is the fourth straight year of town centre car park charge freezes and is more good news for motorists following the introduction of the Mayor's Free Parking Deal, which sees two hours' free parking in all Council-owned town centre car parks on Saturdays.

Parking charges more than doubled in Bedford between 2002 and 2008, but Mayor Dave has halted this trend and, in the midst of the greatest funding crisis ever for Councils, has now delivered four straight years of shoppers' car park charge freezes while towns elsewhere see them rise year after year. In tough times, Bedford Borough Council is delivering more savings elsewhere in order to support shoppers and businesses.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "We know that towns nearby have put charges up, but we are committed to doing everything we can to support shoppers and businesses in Bedford. That's why, in the face of unprecedented cuts to Council funding, we have found further savings elsewhere to enable us to cut the real cost of parking in Bedford town centre for a fourth straight year and to freeze shoppers' car park charges once again. Times are tough for all town centres, so we're working each year to keep parking charges down and support our town centre traders.'

The news comes at the beginning of a big year for Bedford Town Centre, with work on the brand new bus station now underway as the regeneration of that area continues. The demolition of the Town Hall Office block is also taking place, to be replaced by a large public riverside square as part of a regeneration project which will see the reintroduction of town centre cinema and new riverside restaurants.

The only change to charges in town centre car parks for 2014 is the introduction of a new charge of £1.10 is proposed for parking for up to one hour at the Allhallows and St Peters car parks. Users of these car parks previously had to pay for a minimum of two hours and the new one hour tariff reduces the cost for those parking for up to one hour. Information on parking inBedford town centre, including the full list of charges for Council car parks and on street parking, can be found on the Council's website here: http://www.bedford.gov.uk/transport_and_streets/parking/car_parks_-_public_and_private.aspx