Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Town provides free parking to boost Christmas shopping

Shoppers in Rotherham are being offered free Saturday parking in the run up to Christmas.

The council hopes the scheme will encourage more people to use town centre shops for their festive shopping.

The initiative will apply to all council run car parks and parking bays, up to and including Christmas Eve.

The authority estimates it will cost £28,000 in lost on parking fees and other revenue, such as parking tickets.

Councillor Gerald Smith, Rotherham Council's cabinet member for town centres, economic growth and prosperity, said: "It was tried and tested last year and it was excellent and we think it will be just as good this year."

Despite the suspension of charges, motorists will still be limited to the maximum stay period in each parking space.

A report from the Local Data Company in February 2011 said that Rotherham had one of the UK's highest number of vacant shops, with 28.2% standing empty.

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