Dewsbury businesses 'at a competitive disadvantage' due to lack of free parking

Dewsbury business owners are at a "competitive disadvantage" when traders in all other North Kirklees towns benefit from free parking for their customers.

By Dominic Brown
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 6:00 am

Dewsbury Chamber of Trade says that's the message it received when speaking to business owners before putting together its list of proposals to improve the provision of parking in the town centre.

Other concerns include the limited quantity of on-street parking close to shops in the town centre.

A chamber spokesperson said: “The town centre is ringed by supermarkets with free parking for several hours, which demonstrates that professional retailers understand the need for free parking close to their premises.

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Shoppers in Dewsbury town centre

“And their free parking is time limited for the same reason as the on-street parking is limited, to ensure that shoppers move on when they finish their shopping in that store to make room for the next shopper.

“But Dewsbury wants to encourage people to stay longer and we need an option that enables people to do so without fear.

“Adopting unlimited free parking in the major off-street car parks would send a strong message that Dewsbury offers a welcome to everyone.”

Members feel that offering a welcome, improving signage and making the town centre car parks look good may appear minor issues but they all help to make residents and visitors feel good and perceive the town in a good light when they visit Dewsbury.

The chamber believes that through a more imaginative approach, Kirklees Council could support the cost of living agenda, making it easier and cheaper for local people to shop locally, encouraging them to make shorter trips, saving fuel costs and reducing pollution.

At the same time it will be supporting local businesses who are struggling with the same pressures.

The chamber spokesperson said: “Many of the problems facing Dewsbury are difficult and costly to solve, as evidenced by the current cost inflation and subsequent delays to investment projects.

“But adopting these recommendations now to make Dewsbury a more attractive destination is quick, relatively cheap and consistent with national thinking on regeneration.

“While there is much work taking place and major investments planned, we cannot wait to develop more attractions before removing every possible obstacle that affects visitors’ decisions as to whether they visit Dewsbury or go somewhere else.

“There is no time for any delay in dealing with this problem. We need to start now.”

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Chamber of Trade reveals list of parking proposals for Dewsbury town centre