Free parking in Wirral for Chistmas build-up

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Pay & Display parking sign. Pic by Lucy Nixon © JMU Journalism

Pay & Display parking sign. Pic by Lucy Nixon © JMU Journalism

A ‘Free After 3’ parking scheme is set to return across the Wirral this December.

The scheme was agreed at a council meeting last week and will allow people to park for free after 3pm at all council-operated car parks throughout the Wirral.

Starting on December 1st, the scheme will run throughout the month as a way of boosting Christmas trade. As well as being ‘Free After 3’ people will also be able to park free-of-charge all day on both Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The scheme was originally introduced in 2011 however was scrapped in 2013 as a way of harmonising parking costs across the borough.

Councillor Stuart Whittingham, cabinet member for highways and transport, said,
“Christmas is a very important time for shoppers and for local businesses, as part of our commitment to supporting businesses and helping them to thrive we are cutting the cost of parking in Council car parks from December 1st.”

It is hoped the scheme will help to prompt more people to shop locally in the run up to Christmas without the added cost of paying for parking.

“Increasing footfall in our town centres is a key aspect of our work to support traders and to make it easier and more affordable for people to access local goods and services,” Whittingham said.

“Shoppers will be able to use their local shops and town centres for their festive shopping knowing they won’t have to pay extra for parking their car after 3pm.”

The move has been met with praise from Wirral business owners who  hope the initiative will benefit local businesses financially in the run up to Christmas.

Wirral Chamber of Commerce CEO Paula Basnett told JMU Journalism: “By encouraging footfall into our retail areas it will bring economic benefits which can only be seen as a positive move for growth and one which will bring a significant impact for businesses and the regional economy.”

The parking initiative applies to council-run car parks only and motorists will still have to pay for on street parking in Birkenhead.

About Lucy Nixon, JMU Journalism