Mum’s campaign for free South Shields parking is catching on

Campaigner Kate Gillespie, inset, has attracted more than 400 signatures with her online petition for free parking in South Shields.
Campaigner Kate Gillespie, inset, has attracted more than 400 signatures with her online petition for free parking in South Shields.
Share this article

An online petition calling for free parking in a South Tyneside town centre continues to gather support with more than 400 people having signed up.

The petition, launched by borough mum-of-two Kate Gillespie to make parking free in both South Shields town centre and on the seafront, now has 412 signatories – and is rising by the day.

I would visit Shields more if parking was free

Michael Dunn

The hope is that the availability of free spaces will encourage shoppers and visitors into the town’s King Street and boost retail trade.

The same plea appears to be resonating all across the country.

Only this week it was announced that visitors to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire will soon be able to park for 30 minutes for free in all council car parks.

And in Cardigan in mid-Wales a recent period of free parking – caused when the town’s parking machines were vandalised in early June – has triggered a business boom.

Meanwhile, words of support for Mrs Gillespie’s petition continue to pour in.

Michael Dunn, from Consett, posted the message: “I fish in Shields regularly and no doubt I would be down there more if parking was free.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “We believe our charges are fair and reasonable and continue to offer good value for money compared to our neighbouring towns.”

To sign Mrs Gillespie’s free parking petition, go to her change.org page