Hundreds back online petition for free South Shields parking

Town centre parking charges are under fire again.
Town centre parking charges are under fire again.

A South Tyneside woman’s campaign to scrap parking charges in South Shields town centre has struck a nerve with residents after almost 300 signing up to a petition.

Kate Gillespie, of Kingsway, South Shields, launched her online petition late last week calling for free parking in both the centre of South Shields and on the town’s seafront. Now 297 people have signed up to her page to express their support.

Paying to park is a deterrent

Faye Roger

In addition, a Gazette poll has found a whopping 95 per cent of readers in agreement with the plea.

Meanwhile, Mrs Gillespie has received dozens of messages of support from members of the public who endorse her stance.

Faye Roger, from South Shields, posted: “I like to visit my local town centre for shopping when needed. I feel paying to park when there is such a limited amount of stores worth visiting is a deterrent. Free parking in South Shields is the start to move forward along with new stores for our town.”

Barry Stephenson said: “Stopped going into town years ago. I’ve got a mobile phone, and stacks of unused birthday cards, and not keen on charity shops, so no point as these are the only shops.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesman defended the council’s parking charges policy, saying: “We believe our charges are fair and reasonable and continue to offer good value for money compared to our neighbouring towns.”