Free parking will get Horncastle buzzing

Market Place, where half hour free parking could be introduced.
Market Place, where half hour free parking could be introduced.

A proposal to introduce 30 minutes’ free parking in Horncastle Market Place will help create a vibrant town centre.

That is the positive message from Horncastle’s stalwart town and district councillor Fiona Martin.

She was speaking at a town council meeting last Tuesday evening about East Lindsey District Council’s latest review into car parking.

As part of a raft of possible changes, ELDC is proposing the 30-minute free period in the Market Place.

Coun Martin described the idea as ‘extremely good news’ and said it was a ‘feather in the cap’ for the town council who have been lobbying for free parking for many years.

While stressing the proposals have yet to be ratified, Coun Martin said the Market Place proposal - combined with the retention of all day free parking at The Wong - could only benefit the town.

She said: “ I think it’s extremely good news.

“It’s something we (the town council) have wanted for some time.

“East Lindsey did come to speak to us and it (the Market Place) was something we have specifically asked for.

“They have listened to us. It’s a feather in the cap for the town council.

“I am sure that, together with the free parking on The Wong, it will help make the town be as vibrant as it can be.”

Businesses also welcomed the idea but several residents told the News the time period for free parking should be extended and also feature at other car parks.

Shop worker Alison Reynolds said: “We rely on people popping in for two or three things.

“There is a lack of parking because the bays on Church Lane are usually full, so hopefully the 30 minutes in the Market Place should help.”

Martin Johnson said the idea would help ease problems with people parking on yellow lines to use cash machines.

He said: “It can be really frustrating - if you just want to use the machines.

“You either pay when all you want is two or three minutes, which is ridiculous, or drive round and round looking for somewhere to leave your car.

“Most people just park on the (yellow) lines outside the banks and that can cause problems - especially at busy times of the day.”

Pauline Cooper said ELDC could afford to increase the free parking time to attract more shoppers.

She said: “Thirty minutes is neither here nor there - not if you want to buy a few things.

“I know there are other car parks but they are not as close to the shops.

“We’ve some nice shops but to flourish we need to be competing with the out-of-town developments where you can park all day for nothing.

“It could just be for a couple of days a week.

“The council charges enough council tax. It’s about time they gave us something back.”