A TOWN centre retailer is taking on a parking ticket reimbursement scheme snubbed by council bosses just two months ago.
Alun Hughes, who owns and runs Alun Hughes Film, Music and Nostalgia on Bank Street, Wrexham, aims to put the idea into practice at his shop after Wrexham Council bosses said they could not afford to run a similar scheme themselves in January.
He hopes that other businesses in town will see the benefits and follow his lead.
Mr Hughes’ scheme enables customers to take a picture of their ticket, present it in-store, and then be reimbursed for its cost, as long as the ticket price is at least 10 per cent of the purchase value of the bought items.
The move comes less than six weeks after controversial parking price rises came into force.
Many traders said they have noticed a drop-off in custom in the weeks since.
Mr Hughes said: “We live in an age of technology. All it takes is someone to take a picture of their car park ticket on their phone and take it into the shop.
“If they pay £3 to park, and spend £30 in the shop, they are reimbursed the £3 they have paid for the ticket. It’s that simple.
He added: “For businesses, it’s life or death in these times of austerity but I believe every problem has a solution.
“It’s a specific reaction to the council’s car park price increases, but I hope it will be seen as a creative solution.
“The idea is that there are no costs for the council, so I’m hoping they put some weight behind promoting it.
“If they do, they could turn Wrexham into something more inviting than a place that is putting its parking prices up.”
In January Cllr Neil Rogers, leader of Wrexham Council, said spending £13,000 on replacing existing tickets and altering ‘pay and display’ machines to accommodate such a scheme was “not viable” due to the “unprecedented” cuts the authority is facing.
The parking price hike at the beginning of February saw prices increase at the Library, Market Street, St George’s Crescent, St Giles, Waterworld, People’s Market and Crescent Road car parks.
The price of one hour’s parking rose from 60p to £1, between one hour and two hours from £1.20 to £1.50 and the evening charge increased from 50p to £1.
Mr Hughes said: “I haven’t officially launched the scheme but I’ve contacted the council about it. It’s on offer to any of my customers who have bought a car park ticket on the same working day.
“Businesses that require people to come in the car, such as carpet sales, would probably benefit from it even more than my business.”