Thursday, December 3, 2009

Free parking for shoppers in Hebden Bridge


I was chatting to Kate Topping of Colour Yorkshire the other day while taking her pic for my 500 faces project when she mentioned her idea about making a Hebden Bridge effectively a free parking zone for shoppers.

In brief, what she proposes is that when people come to the town to shop, the shops should offer those people 40p (taken from a handy counter-top jar in her case) to pay for an hour of their parking charge.

Obviously, there are certain scenarios that wouldn't fit in this plan. Shops that sell relatively low cost items like newspapers, milk, bits of ribbon etc would be unlikely to see any benefit and would be understandably not want to participate. However, considering the number of "Great Little Independent Shops" that sell gifts, kitchen gear, jewellery, computers, musical instruments, wine etc that, compared to clone-high-street retail outlets, make quite reasonable sales, I'm sure there are enough places to create a network of participating shops.

Maybe a caveat like offering parking refunds when the total purchase is over £10 could be added?

In these days of stiff competition from retail parks and mega-corporations, the little details are what make all the difference and keep people coming here from out of town.

Maybe it needs a tweak, but to me anyway, the idea seems a good one.

I have posted these thoughts on the Hebweb forum too, so you may wish to debate the idea there...

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