SHOPPERS can now park for longer on one of Darlington’s most popular streets, thanks to collaboration between traders, the Borough Council and Distinct Darlington.

Grange Road is home to a number of specialist shops and boutiques, but business owners felt the two hour parking limit on motorists prevented shoppers from fully exploring the wealth of good and services on offer.

However, the limit has now been extended to three hours, after Business Improvement District (BID) agency Distinct Darlington, formed to support businesses in the town centre, stepped in to help.

Distinct Darlington represents the majority of retailers within the town’s Business Improvement District and approached the Council on their behalf.

“Grange Road has a number of lovely clothes shops, boutiques and cafes,” said Alex Hirst, manager of Distinct Darlington, “where shoppers like to take their time browsing or enjoying coffee and lunch.

“The business owners felt that the two hour limit was too short and that customers were unable to spend as much time in the shops as they would have liked as they were worried about overstaying their time limit.

“We approached the Council on their behalf and they helpfully agreed to raise the time limit to three hours, which will make a world of difference.”

Mary Atkins, director of cook shop Cooks & Kitchens, said: “Many of our customers are in search of specialist kitchen equipment or have detailed questions that take time to answer and we can spend up to 20 minutes chatting to them.

“Extending the parking limit will be a great help to us and make for a more relaxed experience for shoppers.”

Parking on Grange Road will continue to cost 50p per half hour and the extended parking limit takes place with immediate effect.

For further information about Distinct Darlington visitwww.distinctdarlington.co.uk.