Extended free parking trial agreed for Harpenden sites

BUSINESSES in Harpenden could be given a boost with district council proposals to trial a three-tier system of free parking in the town.

Two hours free parking will be available on the periphery of Harpenden with some areas remaining at one hour as at present and free parking for 30 minutes in the most central part of the town to ensure a quick turnover.

The six-month trial, which follows lobbying from businesses and retailers in Harpenden, could be in place in time for the pre-Christmas shopping period.

Traders called for the one-hour parking to be extended because they believed it was putting off customers coming into Harpenden and was forcing others to have to rush back to their cars.

Councillor Beric Read, portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, told the district council’s cabinet on Tuesday that 130 spaces would be two hours free, the same number one hour free and 30 would offer half an hour free.

He went on: “It will be cost-neutral to the council and it will be put to Harpenden town councillors for their views shortly.”

Cllr Read said the aim was to provide shoppers with more parking flexibility when visiting the town.

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Two hours free parking will take in High Street (near Kwik Fit), Rothamsted Avenue (near St Nicholas Church), Leyton Green (near Waitrose), Thompsons Close (near Breathing Space) Vaughan Road (near the library), Victoria Street (near the United Reformed Church), Station Road West (near Pizza Express), Ardens Grove, Southdown Road and Leyton Road.

The one-hour free parking will take in the High Street, Leyton Road outside Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, Station Road and Vaughan Road while 30 minutes free will apply to parts of Lower High Street, Leyton Green and the High Street

The locations and effectiveness of the different areas will be reviewed at the end of the six month trial. A map setting out the different parking areas will be available shortly on the district council’s website.