CHARGING in all car parks operated by Barrow Borough Council has been suspended to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The move is to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus from one person to another via pay and display machines.
It is also in line with LGA and government guidance which states frontline health workers, social care workers and NHS staff should not have to pay parking charges in the course of their work during the ongoing nationwide crisis.
Barrow Borough Council operates car parks in Market Street, Portland Walk, Oldham Street, Fell Street, Hall Street, Whittaker Street and Emlyn Street.
The new arrangement begins today Thursday, March 26, and will remain in place until further notice.
Councillor Ann Thomson, Barrow Borough Council leader, said: “We have taken this decision with the safety of our community at the forefront of our minds.
“Covid-19 is a virus that can have grave consequences for older people and those in vulnerable groups.
“We know the virus can live on some surfaces for a number of hours, so we are taking every precaution available to us to stop its spread.”
Those in charge at Barrow Borough Council have already announced the temporary closure of playgrounds, skateparks and MUGAs, as well as public toilets across the area, following new government rules announced this week.
These measures are designed to save lives and reduce pressures on the NHS.
The rules are that you should only leave home for one of the four reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
Cllr Thomson added: “We all have a duty to make sure we are doing everything possible to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“Suspending charges in our car parks means no-one - not residents, visitors or our staff - has to touch the pay and display machines.
“Please continue to follow all of the advice available on the importance of hand washing, not leaving home unless it is for one of the four reasons set out by the government and keeping a distance of two metres from other people.
“This is incredibly important and will help to save lives."