A FREE parking scheme in the town centre has been defended by the boss of Rugby First after attracting criticism from shopkeepers.
Listeners to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire on Monday morning heard Alan Alman of Cut-Price Carpets and Nick Hewitt of Johnny Porkers claim the scheme was too complicated, poorly publicised and only useful for a second visit to the town centre.
But Aftab Gaffar, Managing Director of Rugby First, said the scheme had received positive feedback from businesses and customers, with the majority of people welcoming it and finding it easy to use.
He said: “The initiative has been promoted via social media, the town centre website, newspapers, posters, the Rugby First newsletter, email blasts, and by businesses directly.
“The passes can be obtained from businesses when in town or in advance of a visit via the Rugby First website.
“I would like to encourage all customers to use and take advantage of this innovative scheme and see for themselves how easy it is to use while at the same time saving them money.
“As always Rugby First welcomes feedback – good and bad.”
Under the scheme, shoppers can collect a Smile Loyalty Free Parking Pass from a selection of town centre shops, or download it via www.rugbytowncentre.co.uk.
Passes must then be validated by sending a car registration number by text message, writing car and time details on the pass, and displaying it in the car window.
Passes have an expiry date, are only for use after 10am and are valid for four hours.
The passes can be used in Newbold Road Car Park and inside the John Barford Multi Storey.