Scarborough traders in free Christmas parking call

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Traders in a North Yorkshire resort are calling for off-street car parking to be made free in the run-up to Christmas.

Businesses in Scarborough want the borough council to suspend the charges from 15:00 GMT each day from the beginning of December.

In a letter to the council, the town's Chamber of Trade and Commerce said its members wanted to encourage shoppers.

No-one from Scarborough Borough Council was available for comment.

In a letter to the council, the chamber's chairman Chris Golder said: "We are aware that this goes further than the traditional off-street parking arrangements for the festive period, which only allow free parking on Thursdays and Sundays.

"Whilst this traditional waiving of parking charges is welcome, members feel it does not go far enough to encourage people into the town, particularly as late-night shopping has not really taken off and traders are now also competing to an extent with the out-of-town retail park off Seamer Road, which offers free parking."

Mr Golder said a relaxation of parking charges would "send out a clear message that the council and Chamber of Trade were committed to maintaining and improving the shopping experience in Scarborough, particularly during this current economic downturn".

The chamber is anxious to encourage shoppers to stay in Scarborough, claiming that footfall figures during the main summer months were down on the previous year.

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