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Two hours’ free parking to start at Rhiw car park this month

4 August 2017

The first two hours of parking at the Rhiw multi-storey car park in Bridgend town centre will be FREE from Tuesday 22 August until the end of March 2018, Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed.

The Welsh Government has made £3m available to support free parking pilot schemes in local authorities during the current financial year, and Bridgend County Borough Council will use its £131,000 allocation to introduce a scheme to benefit Bridgend town centre.

Confirming the start date, Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “The Welsh Government has recognised that changing lifestyles, internet shopping and more competition is affecting town centres right across Wales.

“They’ve made this funding available so that local authorities can trial various forms of free parking arrangements to see how much of an impact that might have in attracting shoppers back to our high streets.

“The Rhiw multi-storey is perfectly located for this pilot scheme, which will run through to the end of March 2018. If the free parking is seen to have had a positive effect on the town centre, we will then have to see whether the Welsh Government provide a further allocation for a free parking scheme to continue in 2018-19.”

Parking is already free all day every Sunday at the Rhiw multi-storey, which opened in November 2016. It is part of a larger re-development project funded by Welsh Government, Coastal Housing Group and Bridgend County Borough Council which also includes new apartments and a commercial unit which have been built by Kier Construction.

The overall project is nearing completion. The 28 apartments are currently being fitted out, while an announcement is expected soon on the business that will occupy the development’s new commercial unit.

The main pedestrian walkway into the car park also opened last week, providing level access to and from Rhiw hill directly into level 1 of the car park where the disabled bays are located. A new cycle store will also be provided in this area soon.

Councillor Smith added: “It’s very exciting to see this striking major development reach its final stages. Rather than simply replace the old outdated car park, we decided to take advantage of the fantastic opportunities offered by the Welsh Government’s ‘Vibrant and Viable Places’ programme to bid for funding to provide an enhanced modern car park and help to create a community of people living within the heart of the town centre who will use local shops, boost trade and help support the night-time economy.

"The council does not own any shops or commercial premises within Bridgend town centre and has no say over how they are marketed or allocated, so instead we focus on developing the shopping and business environment.

“This new and unique development is an investment in the long-term future of the town centre, and we are confident that it will act as a catalyst for further investment from the private sector.

“It could only have been achieved by working in close partnership, so I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this development so far.”

Last Updated: 04/08/2017
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