This is where you want to see free parking in Hartlepool after pledge by Tees Valley mayor
Dozens of locations in Hartlepool where residents would like to see free car parking have been suggested in response to a call out by the Mayor of Tees Valley.
The current Conservative Mayor Ben Houchen has pledged to provide a minimum of three hours free parking across Hartlepool, Teesside and Darlington to help boost trade if he is re-elected.
Areas around Hartlepool Marina, the town centre and Seaton Carew have received the most suggestions from the public so far after Mr Houchen invited people to plot them on an interactive map online.
He said: “Our High Streets need our support. Local businesses are the backbone of our area and they need a helping hand.
“I will help by delivering free town centre parking across Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington.
“This will make it easier, cheaper and more convenient for people to use our high streets and support our amazing local businesses.”
Mr Houchen added the plan would help “level the playing field” between town centres and out of town retail outlets as well as helping businesses compete with online retailers.
He said: “Everyone across our region deserves an amazing and vibrant high street.
“My plan to make parking free, plus the millions of pounds I have secured for our town centres from the Government, will help to achieve this.”
He said it would be funded by money devolved to the Tees Valley from Government and would not add to residents’ council tax bills.
But Mr Houchen’s office confirmed his plan would not apply to privately owned car parks, such as at Navigation Point on the marina.
It would only apply to those controlled by local councils which are members of the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
Current charges in and around Hartlepool town centre are typically £1 for two hours up to £5.60 for 10 hours.
Seasonal charges are recent at Seaton Carew. In the Rocket House and coach and car park it costs £1 for two hours parking, £1.50 for up to four hours and £2 all day.
People can nominate areas for free parking at www.backbensplan.com/parking
Jessie Joe Jacobs is Labour’s Tees Valley Mayor candidate.