Traders in Wrexham have joined forces to launch a campaign surrounding parking in the town centre.

The campaign is calling for a ‘free after 3pm’ trial and a ‘freeze’ on any increase in parking fees for visitors to council operated car parks for the whole of 2020.

Traders, shops and businesses in the town centre have all joined forces to launch a series of initiatives throughout November and December, which includes a petition, postcards, social media and pop up signings, in order to encourage Wrexham Council to create new parking incentives to increase footfall in the area.

The Leader has previously reported on the council’s parking initiative in the run-up to Christmas, and Cllr Mark Pritchard, Leader of the Council, said: “Dependent on the success of the Christmas Promotional event programme, specifically the ‘free after 3pm’ initiative, I intend to bring a report to a future meeting of the Executive Board to consider a longer term roll-out of this initiative.”

Wayne Price, chair of the Town Centre Forum, said: “We are asking the council to work with us to look at ways to keep car parks prices as they are and to also look at ways to generate more footfall into the town.

“We empathise that the council are between a rock and a hard place due to economic pressures however, we hope they evaluate this campaign as part of their difficult decisions.”

Andy Gallanders, vice-chair, added: “We know that the council is having hard time of it balancing the books due to cuts, however we feel that increasing the car park fees will deter shoppers, thus eventually reducing income for the council and traders alike.”

Matt McHale, a member of the Town Centre Forum, said: “We have contacted the council and they have said that the petition and any correspondence about car parking will form part of the Difficult Decisions consultation, therefore we urge the people of Wrexham to sign the petition, ask to join the ‘Freeze the Fees’ and Trial ‘Free After Three’ in WCBC’s Car Parks Facebook group, send an email or write to the council about their enthusiasm to freeze the fees.”

The petition reads: “We the undersigned ask that you accept and consider this petition to ‘Freeze the Fees’ and begin a Trial of ‘Free after Three’ in the council car parks for the whole of 2020 as part of your ‘Difficult Decisions 2020’ public consultation of council’s budgets.

“We the undersigned ask that you consider to ‘Freeze the Fees’ and trial ‘Free after Three’ as part of your plan to check any possible decline in the town centre shops during 2020.

“We are sure that you agree that the town centre shops, traders and businesses employ hundreds of the townsfolk with many more family households depending directly or indirectly on their success.

“We understand that the council is suffering from a period of cuts as is also the Senedd/Welsh Government and we ask that you work with us traders, shop owners and businesses of the Town Centre Forum, the government and any other stakeholders to look at initiatives to ‘Freeze the Fees’ and trial ‘Free after Three’ in the council car parks during the whole of 2020.”

To sign the petition, visit here