Tees Valley Mayor vows to make parking free in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool town centres

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (January 13) announced he will introduce free parking in town centres across the Tees Valley if he is re-elected in May.

In a bid to support local businesses and give high streets a much-need helping hand, Mayor Houchen is promising to introduce free parking across Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Hartlepool to make it easier, cheaper and more convenient for people to shop in their town centre.

Mayor Houchen wants to hear from residents to find out where in the Tees Valley they would most like to see free parking introduced. From today, they can indicate their preferred locations on a map by visiting www.backbensplan.com/parking.

To deliver his promise, Mayor Houchen will hold discussions with all five councils in the Tees Valley to work out how the parking offer will work best in each area but has vowed to offer a minimum of at least three hours free parking in all of the region’s town centres.

Mayor Houchen has already secured up to £125m from the Government through the Towns Fund to help develop innovative regeneration plans for town centres. With five towns from the region included, the Tees Valley will receive more allocations than any other region in the UK.

Mayor Houchen said: “Our high streets need all the support they can get. Local business are the lifeblood of our area and they need a helping hand. I will do just that – I will help them by delivering free town centre parking across Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool and Redcar.

“Free parking will make it easier, cheaper and more convenient for people to use our high streets and town centres, supporting our amazing local businesses in the process.

“It is a depressing sight for people to see empty shops on the high street. By introducing free parking, we can drive up the number of people visiting our town centres, increase spending, boost our economy and create jobs while making Tees Valley an even more dynamic and vibrant place to live and do business.

“Everyone across our region deserves a vibrant and thriving high street that can still flourish in the age of online shopping. My plan to make parking free across Teesside’s town centres, plus the millions of pounds I have secured from central Government for our high streets, will help to achieve this.”

Last week, Mayor Houchen announced that he would be standing for re-election in May, and at the same time, made his first election pledge to the people of the Tees Valley, promising to bring steel making back to Teesside, restoring the region’s rightful place as a global leader in the steel industry.

For more information, visit www.backbensplan.com/parking.