Non-essential retail is due to re-open on the 15th June and to support shoppers and retailers in this transition, MK Council will continue to provide free parking for key workers around the city centre until the end of the month.
Shoppers and staff returning to the Centre MK and Intu next week will find new social distancing measures in place around the centre to keep people safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, the Council believes that an additional two weeks of free parking for key workers will help boost the hard-hit retail sector when it emerges from lockdown without putting people at risk.
After 1st July the Council will introduce a reduced cost permit for NHS & care workers. Normal enforcement will also resume on 1st July. The Council have recently been operating a more light-touch approach during the pandemic, with people who are not key workers being asked to continue to pay.
The Council is currently losing around £1m a month in parking income due to the pandemic and has written to the Government stating that unless additional financial help is provided, continued losses will be unsustainable without major cuts to services.
Cllr Carole Baume, Cabinet Member for Economy & Culture says: “MK Council has provided free parking for key workers since March and we’re pleased to be able to extend this until the end of the month.”
She continued: “Our key workers have been on the frontline over the last 3 months. As a council we’re keen to continue to support them whilst also supporting businesses and retailers as we enter the next phase of restarting MK.”
She concluded: “We have also made clear we want to continue to say “thank you” to NHS and care workers, so we will be introducing a reduced cost permit from July after normal enforcement starts again.”