Tories call for 12 month trial of free parking in Central Milton Keynes

Conservative councillors have vowed to continue fighting for a year's trial of free parking at Central Milton Keynes.

Local MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart joined MK Tory councillors last year and launched a petition to introduce two hours free parking following a footfall drop of eight million visits to the shopping centre since 2014.

CMK parking

CMK parking

Local Conservative leader Alex Walker said: "While recent shopping figures from centre:mk were more positive, it is known the retail sector is under pressure nationally. The council has a responsibility to ensure CMK remains a competitive place for businesses and an attractive destination for local shoppers and families to visit. Furthermore, the council's parking income is set to drop again this year."

Councillor Walker said there had been no response from the council to the 1,000 signature strong petition that was handed in last September.

"The Labour council seems to be turning a blind eye to the warning signs in the retail sector," he said.

Now the Tories are pressing for Labour to agree a free parking amendment to their annual budget, which is due to be discussed on Wednesday next week..

Councillor Walker said: "We will keep pushing the Council. The feedback we have received has been very positive and it's clear if the parking was free, people would return to visit CMK, and visit more often.

"At the moment the Council is just rolling it's eyes at the footfall drop and the fall in parking income. Action is needed if we want CMK to thrive.

"We have a plan and we believe it would see more visitors and as a result more businesses."