CALLS have been made to reduce the cost of parking in Barrow to attract more people to the town.

Barrow BID has described parking in Barrow town centre as a ‘major issue’ and has identified key areas to improve.

In a letter to the borough council penned by Paul Hodgson Barrow BID Chairman, the BID board asked for:

- the production of a car parking strategy for the town centre which identifies improvements to on-street and off-street car parking pay on exit rather than arrival so visitors are not rushing during their visit and less people receive parking tickets;

- a reduced pricing strategy with £1 for the first hour and £2 for up to three hours;

- a scheme for long stay parking on outlying car parks so town centre employees can park all day for less;

- low cost evening and night time charges to supplement day time visiting and enable hospitality guests to park without fear of a parking ticket, consistent 30 minute on-street parking bays within a town centre area, as the current 10 min, one hour and two hour parking bays are confusing and improved signage and markings across the town centre to restrict parking on double yellow lines and on streets where signs and markings mean tickets are not enforceable.

Paul Hodgson, Barrow BID chairman, said: “As the voice of Barrow town centre’s business community, Barrow BID want to ensure that local businesses are being heard.

“We are told over and over that car parking is the main priority to attract more visitors to the town and increase footfall.

“With the submission of the Town Deal and Future High Street applications, we are perfectly poised to transform the town centre in partnership with the local councils and it is vital that car parking is prioritised in any town centre strategy.”

Barrow BID will be funding free town centre car parking as part of their Shop Barrow Day on Saturday November 28.

The letter would be considered by councillors said deputy mayor Helen Wall.

She said: “This is a massive ask so it would have to go through multiple consultations with different businesses before it would be put through.

“This something that the council would consider unless there is a big reason not to do so.”