All-day free parking will remain on all council car parks until the end of July, when the council will revert to two-hours free.
Dudley Council scrapped parking fees for much of the pandemic on all its car parks to support businesses in town centres during what was the most challenging times for high streets. It meant people were able to park for free all day, seven days a week.
With government restrictions coming to an end next week, the council has confirmed it will keep free parking until the end of July and will reinstate its standard two-hour free parking and normal charges from August 1. Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm, said:
"We’d been operating two-hour free parking for a long time across borough car parks to help boost trade and footfall in our town centres.
"We made the decision early on in the pandemic to scrap parking fees altogether. This was to support people while they got used to the constraints of the pandemic and to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus as people didn’t need to use the parking machines.
"We then decided to extend it further to help businesses in and around our town centres who have struggled during the last 12 months and to help people feel more comfortable when choosing to return to town centres as shops were able to reopen.
"Although it meant we had no income from parking to reinvest in council services, it was the right thing to do for the people and businesses in our borough.
"But as the Prime Minister has now confirmed restrictions will ease next week, we hope to see more and more people return to our town centres and a sense of normality resume.
"We’ll continue to support them by offering two-hours free parking and look forward to brighter days ahead when our businesses thrive."