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Free after three parking in Chester and Ellesmere Port will be abolished early next year, Cheshire West and Chester Council confirms.

Cheshire West and Chester council has unveiled its parking action plan in which it confirms the cutting of ‘Free After Three’ within the first quarter of 2018.

The decision was made to axe the scheme earlier this Summer.

The idea is to replace free after three with a number of different offers like free park and ride one mid-week day after 2pm.

Overall the cost of parking will be reduced at places like the Market and Delamere Street which is aimed at spreading city centre footfall throughout the day.

Tariffs are also being lowered in Ellesmere Port, while the Bishop Street car park in Hoole will now begin to charge.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said, “Our population and car ownership rates are steadily rising and land available for parking is decreasing.

“Over the coming years, the Council needs to invest in car parks so that we have enough clean and safe spaces, in the right places, with clear signage and new technology to make it easier and more convenient for people coming to Chester by car.

“With this action plan for Chester we are addressing the issues facing residents who live in areas where commuters regularly park, introducing the right offers in the right places to encourage visitors, improving disabled provision, and reducing congestion and air pollution.

“Parking in Chester will be easier and more accessible for everyone and we are supporting residents, businesses and the visitor economy.

“Changes to parking charges and introducing time restrictions will ensure everyone can park where they need to and altering the restrictions and charging on specific roads will ensure parking is fair across the city.

“To support businesses better, and to increase the time shoppers spend in the city, we want to introduce a range of more flexible offers to encourage trade throughout the day and ease the pressure on the evening peak hour. The current ‘Free after 3’ scheme services a small amount of people so instead we’re bringing in a range of offers that cater for all typos of people wanting to visit Chester.

“Air pollution is an issue that Chester residents want action on so we are trialling free use of Park and Ride after 2pm mid-week, which we hope will encourage people to leave the car at home, reduce congestion and improve air quality.”

The full action plan can be found, by visiting this link here.

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