New parking offers are being introduced in Darlington town centre for the next two years with funding approved by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority (TVCA).
The new offer applies from Monday 11th January, with two hours free parking continuing at council-owned car parks and on-street bays located within the inner Ring Road. Car parks outside this area will revert to earlier parking charges. In addition, Sunday parking offers will also change and offer free two-hour parking in inner Ring Road areas and £1 all-day charges in most other council car parks.
East Street multi storey is also included in the two hours free offer and gives an option of £2 for all-day parking.
Car park users need to check the car park signs and ticket machines, and must get a ticket from the machine and display it on their windscreen even if they are taking advantage of the two-hours free offer.
Conservative Councillor, Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for local services, said:
“Obviously, during the current national lockdown we should all stay at home and do our bit to protect the NHS and save lives. However, if an essential journey into town is necessary the new parking offers are in place to help support those businesses and services that are able to open.
“We are delighted that TVCA has agreed to fund our two-year parking offer as this extended time period will give continuity and stability to our parking offer. This much-needed boost to our town centre will hopefully encourage residents to support our town centre businesses and help the town recover from this covid period.
“We all want to see our town centre thrive and our town has so much to offer with its varied independent and national retail outlets and an extensive dining and leisure experience.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m delighted that we’ve able to get free parking introduced in Darlington so soon into the new year and I’d like to thank everyone at Darlington Borough Council for making it possible. The revenue the council receives from car parking charges will be compensated from our funding, so the council won’t be financially impacted and no local services will be affected.
“Our retail and hospitality businesses in our town centres have been some of the hardest hit because of the coronavirus pandemic, so when it is safe for people to return to shops, cafes and restaurants, we need to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to give them the vital support they need – that is why I have made parking free in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Stockton, Guisborough and Yarm.
“Nobody likes paying for parking and it is one of the main reasons I constantly hear as to why people aren’t shopping in town centres. By making it free, we can increase the number of people visiting our high streets and therefore increase their spending, boost our economy and help support jobs.”
Full details of car parks and charges can be found on council’s website at www.darlington.gov.uk/parking