Short-term parking bays introduced in Bedford town centre

November 21, 2020 8:00 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Henry VannBedford Borough Council has introduced ten short-term parking bays across Bedford Town Centre, to allow shoppers to take advantage of click & collect in Bedford Borough.

During the current lockdown, some shops in the Bedford Town Centre are offering a click & collect service, making it easier for shoppers to support local businesses in the town centre. Under current government guidelines, non-essential retailers can still open for click & collect services, where shopping is pre-ordered ahead of time and collected from the store.

The measures were added following requests made by businesses in order to help them thrive in our town centre. Although they have only been added for an initial period of up to 18 months, Bedford Borough Council may look to make these measures permanent if they prove successful with businesses and residents.

The parking bays will allow visitors free parking for up to 15 minutes, allow drivers to pick up hot food deliveries promptly and provide loading areas for those making deliveries to nearby businesses.

Bedford Borough Council has installed these parking bays on:

  • Castle Lane
  • Commercial Road
  • Greyfriars Car Park
  • Harpur Street
  • Lurke Street
  • Mill Street
  • River Street
  • St Cuthbert's Street
  • St Loyes Street
  • St Paul's Square

Councillor Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning, said "Funded by the Mayor's Town Centre Priority fund, the introduction of these parking bays represents further investment by Bedford Borough Council to support our town centre traders, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. These new parking measures - initially in place for a trial period - will make it even easier for residents, visitors and businesses looking to use the town centre, building on the safety measures in place, two hours free parking, and our essential market stalls. We are urging residents to shop local to support our independent retailers and national chain stores this Christmas and this will make it even easier to do so."

Councillor Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said "We have taken the decision to install ten parking bays, which will improve access to the town centre for both residents and businesses. This investment in parking will open up our retail and hospitality offer to shoppers and make it easier for people to support local businesses. Bedford Town Centre, like many towns nationally, is facing new challenges presented by COVID-19, alongside those they were already facing before the pandemic. We've listened to what businesses, partners and residents have said they want in the town centre and will continue to deliver improvements that make Bedford Borough a better place to live, work and stay."

Samantha Laycock, Chair of BedfordBID, said: "We've been working with hospitality and retail businesses in Bedford Town Centre to understand what they need from us and the Council to continue giving shoppers the same great experience. The general consensus is that these parking bays will have a positive impact on shoppers and visitors in Bedford Town Centre. The introduction of these parking bays will help stores to provide click & collect services to shoppers and will also enable food and drink businesses to provide takeaway and delivery services to residents of Bedford Borough."

BedfordBID will be updating their website to provide information on which town centre businesses are offering a click & collect service. For more information, on businesses currently open and for click & collect and delivery services, visit the BedfordBID Covid-19 Hub: https://www.lovebedford.co.uk/covid/.

If you would like more information on the parking bays, you can contact the Council's Parking Services team by emailing Parking.Services@bedford.gov.uk or calling 01234 718057.