SHOPPERS and traders in Newport have just a few more days to sign our petition to “Keep City Parking Free.”

The petitions will close online and be collected on Wednesday so they can be counted and verified before being handed to Newport council.

At the most recent count, more than 4,000 people had signed our petitions urging Newport City Council to reverse its decision to axe the scheme which lets shoppers to park for free in all its city centre car parks for the first two hours of their stay.

The decision upset traders, who said it was the final nail in the city centre’s coffin with shoppers threatening to head to nearby Cwmbran Shopping or Spytty Retail Park, where parking is free, instead of the city centre if charges are reintroduced.

The council’s only official response to these concerns came in November when cabinet member for infrastructure, Cllr Ken Critchley, described the scheme as unsustainable.

Cllr Critchley, said: “Free parking costs the council almost £1 million a year which is no longer sustainable at a time when central budgets are facing significant cuts and we face a funding gap next year of £8 million.

“To continue to offer free parking would adversely impact on other services such as street cleaning, waste collection and road repairs.”

The council seems unlikely to be able to recoup this figure given its estimates are based on the money being brought in in 2010 before the free parking was introduced.

Then a three hour stay cost £3 and a two hour stay £2, both of which will now be a pound.

The Cambrian car park, the council’s biggest, also closed on New Year’s Eve to allow work to begin on the Cambrian Road development and the Market car park remains closed as work on the new bus terminal continues.

How to join the campaign

Sign our petition online

Download a petition form

IF YOU would like to sign our petition you can do so by visiting any of these businesses:

● AD Turner and Sons butchers

● Anthony Bingham jewellers

● Arnolds

● Assets jewellery

● Bethan

● Clive Mortimer jewellers

● City Fashions

● Freestyle

● Hello Hello

● Kriminal Records

● Jeffries jewellery

● Mr Fruit

● Negative Zone

● Needham’s fishmongers

● Nesta’s Niche

● Paul Gentile jewellers

● Shotts

● Specsavers

● Suit U

● The Cross Keys

● The Elbow Room

● The Kiosk

● The Potters pub

● Timspon

● Toy Army

● The Wardrobe

● Wildings