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Local businesses have urged members of the public and local politicians of all  parties to help Save Free Parking for Three Hours in Paisley town centre. 

At a photocall outside Paisley’s Town Hall, the petition to save and extend the Free  for Three Parking pilot scheme was officially launched by the town’s Business  Improvement District, Paisley First. 

Following a campaign launched by Paisley First five years ago, a pilot project was  set up in the town centre, offering three hours of Free Parking after 10am Mondays  to Saturdays. 

The campaign came to life following a U-turn on proposed parking charges for  Johnstone and Renfrew on the basis that it would be “bad for local businesses”. 

As this pilot scheme has been extended during the last few years, there are now six  car parks included in the scheme – Hunter Street Upper and Lower, Orchard Street,  Weighhouse Close, Oakshaw, School Wynd and both car parks at the Lagoon  Leisure Centre. 

But following the recent announcement that a review of parking was to be  undertaken, there are fears Free for Three parking is set to be scrapped. 

Chair of Paisley First, Elaine Templeton, said: “This will impact our local businesses and  our local communities, both already suffering as a result of the cost of living crisis. 

“The council recently claimed that an under recovery of £1M was incurred between  on and off street parking income and fine recovery in the last financial year. 

“However, the Director of Environment & Infrastructure’s own report to the council’s  Leadership Board in February 2020, stated that Free for Three only resulted in a 15%  reduction in revenue, costing the council around £180,000 per year. 

“So, it’s clear that factors other than Free for Three must be to blame for such a  significant reduction. 

“We have provided the council with letters of support for Free for Three from 130  local businesses as well as recent research undertaken that shows 60% of those who  come into Paisley do so by car. 

“We have also provided survey responses from members of the public to  Renfrewshire Council which evidences that three hours of free parking encourages  people to visit Paisley, rather than Braehead, Silverburn or the Wallneuk  Development. 

“As part of this survey – 93.11% of respondents said Free for Three has encouraged  them to visit Paisley more often, 98.20% believe it should be rolled out to all town  centre car parks and 81.79% admit they would visit Paisley less often if Free for Three  parking was no longer available in Paisley town centre.” 

Elaine added: “Many local businesses have been told by their customers that they  simply could not afford to add the price of parking onto their visits to Paisley and  would go elsewhere if Free for Three parking was no longer available. 

“If members of the local community were tasked with having  

Paisley First  

1 County Place 

Paisley PA1 1BN 

Tel: 0141 237 8120 

Email: ask@paisleyfirst.com www.paisleyfirst.com 

to pay a charge of, say £6 for example, for three hours parking in Paisley to shop or  socialise, as opposed to being able to park for free in Johnstone, Renfrew, Braehead  or Silverburn, you would understand why they might feel they have no choice  financially but to go elsewhere.”  

“Local businesses are already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now  the cost-of-living crisis, but the loss of Free for Three parking in Paisley town centre is  likely to have a devastating impact on many small and independent businesses, the  heartbeat of our community.  

“Please give your support and sign our petition to save Free for Three Parking and  our town centre.” 

You can sign the petition digitally at www.paisleyfirst.com

Author

Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X