PASSIONATE calls have been made for the Royal Borough Council to give free parking to residents during the Christmas period.

A petition has been set up urging the council to temporarily impose free car parking until January to encourage Windsor and Maidenhead residents to shop locally.

Brian McCormak, who created the petition and owner of Snappy Snaps in Windsor, has called the council to get “creative” and improve the footfall in the town centres to help local businesses who are struggling with the impact of Covid-19, the lockdown, as well as the council scrapping the Advantage Card parking discount in February.

He said locals are being “discouraged” to shop in their town centres where people are travelling to other areas such as Bracknell as their parking fees are a lot less than Windsor.

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Mr McCormak said: “What they’re [residents] saying is that because they’re now having to pay a lot more for parking, they’re not parking here at all – which means the council is not getting a reduced amount of revenue, they’re getting no revenue from parking.

“We need, certainly at this time with Covid and the restrictions that are on retail, to get creative with ideas for residents and locals to park again with concessions because you’re [the council] penalizing the very people who are on your doorstep.”

He added: “We need to do something that encourages people to come into town centres and free parking for a short-term period is a win-win.”

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The Conservative majority voted in favour of scrapping the Advantage Card parking discount in February in order to deliver a balanced budget.

Mr McCormack said he signed a 10-year lease last year to keep Snappy Snaps – which has been printing photos for over 20 years – in Windsor.

Over 520 people have signed the petition where it needs over 1,500 signatures in order for it to be debated at a full council meeting.

Residents only have until November 30 to sign it and can be viewed here: