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Council announce free afternoon parking in Cheshire towns

Whalley Hayes car park, Macclesfield
Image caption The scheme has been rolled out following a trial at a Macclesfield car park

A free parking scheme to help high street businesses deal with "difficult trading conditions" has been launched in seven Cheshire towns.

The Free After Three initiative allows free parking after 15:00 in Wilmslow, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Knutsford, Congleton, Crewe and Alderley Edge.

The offer will run in one car park in each of the towns.

Cheshire East Council's David Topping said it would allow people to spend more time in their local town centres.

The roll-out of the scheme, which was initially trialled in Macclesfield, follows calls by the Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles for councils to "rein in" parking charges.

The revised charges will apply to all those using the featured car parks, including "all-day parkers, [who] will see their usual costs reduced", a council spokesman said.

Mr Topping added he hoped the scheme would be a success and that Cheshire businesses would "gradually be able to notice a difference".

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