Free parking boost for Burton

A major car park in Burton town centre, which has 790 spaces, is to start offering four hours free parking at any time of the day or evening – with no strings attached.

The Middleway Retail Park, operated by Smart Parking, is entered from Guild Street and is surrounded by businesses including Frankie and Benny, Matalan, the Cineworld cinema, Bella Italia, Nando’s and DW Sports.

For a number of years, drivers have been able to get a discount card for between two and four hours free parking that they had to insert into the ticket machine after making a purchase at one of the businesses on the retail park.  Prices were £2.50 for two hours if you didn’t make a qualifying purchase.

In recent weeks, shoppers and diners have been able to park free since the barriers were removed ready for a new camera-based number plate recognition system to be introduced. The new system, which is ready to start operating, will allow anyone to park in the car park for any reason for up to four hours. Anyone wishing to park for longer than four hours can pay extra by phone or by using one of the park’s new ticket machines.

Smart Parking told the Burton Mail that the improved service would work through cameras monitoring the time that vehicles enter and leave the car park. Signs are starting to appear around the retail park telling motorists about the new system and Smart Parking has said there will be some customer service advisors in the car park to tell motorists about the new scheme when it starts operating.

This development comes after East Staffordshire Borough Councillors agreed to continue the ‘free after 3pm’ scheme that allows motorist to obtain a free ticket to park for free any time between 3pm and 8am the following morning at the car parks it operates at the Coopers Square and Burton Place car parks in Burton and Maltings car park in Uttoxeter. Councillors recently rejected the idea to extend the scheme and allow free parking at additional times over the Christmas period.

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