A PETITION urging Hastings Borough Council (HBC) to introduce 30 minutes of free parking in the town centre has already attracted almost 300 signatures.
MP Amber Rudd wants the council to allow at least half an hour free parking in a bid to stimulate interest in town centre shops.
She says the campaign signals her support for small and independent shops and businesses throughout Hastings.
Ms Rudd pointed out that a report was written by council officer Richard Homeward which was presented to the Labour-led Charities Committee recommending that: “The trustees may also wish to consider alternative ways of operating its two car parks, (Pelham Place and Rock-a-Nore) such as introducing ‘pay on foot’ instead of pay and display. Pay on foot would eliminate the need for enforcement as people would pay as they left the car park. It might also generate additional income as it would remove the pressure to leave by a predetermined time.”
A representative from Ms Rudd’s office said: “We are asking for something that officers at HBC are recommending but that the council has yet to make a decision on. We have already received huge interest in this campaign and we hope that the council will now listen to the residents of Hastings and not push this issue into the long grass as it has been. Other councils have managed to introduce other parking schemes including Cheshire East Council which introduced last summer a “Free After Three” scheme. Residents could park for free after 3pm all week in several car parks across the district. This council should do the same.”