Manchester

Free car park charges in Bolton to attract shoppers over festive period

Thousands of free car parking spaces will be available in Bolton over the festive period to attract shoppers to the town.

Bolton Council is scrapping charges in four multi-storey car parks after 15:00 BST on weekdays and all weekend from 1 November to 27 January.

Council leader councillor Cliff Morris said he was confident the initiative would boost High Street trade.

Charges will be waived at Bow Street, Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon.

The authority has already had free parking initiatives which it said had proved successful, but they were not as extensive as this one.

'Think twice'

About 2,700 free spaces will be offered to shoppers under the plan.

Debenhams Bolton manager Nikki Wilson Cook said it would make a "really big difference" to the number of shoppers over Christmas and new year.

"A lot of customers say charges make them think twice about where they shop.

"Times are hard and anything which helps them over the festive period is fantastic," said Ms Cook.

Mr Morris said the Labour-run council brought in the scheme to support town centre traders.

"[It] will tie in well with late-night shopping and the festive programme of entertainment and events that we are organising."

He added free parking would continue until the end of January to help shoppers at a time when people are usually looking to save a few pounds.

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