Free parking plan during tramworks

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FREE parking promotions or complimentary bus tickets should be provided during tram work to encourage people into the city centre, councillors said today.

Opposition councillors claim that £445,000 of “business support” measures designed to help businesses cope with work when it restarts will not be enough.

Business leaders also called for the council to look at how it could compensate to firms that expected to see takings tumble when work is restarted.

The Federation of Small Businesses wants the council to hold direct talks with traders about how they can be compensated for work that will impact on their takings.

They also called for a standard reduction to be applied to the business rates bill of a company impacted by the work – to save firms going through the process of making appeals.

The comments came after councillors approved a new report on the tram project that details how £445,000 will be spent on a “business support” programmes.