South West Wales

Free parking in Pembrokeshire to boost Christmas shopping

Shoppers in Pembrokeshire are being offered free weekend parking in the run up to Christmas.

Pembrokeshire council council hopes the scheme will encourage more people to use town centre shops for their festive shopping in the west Wales county.

The initiative will apply to all council run car parks during December.

The decision should provide a boost to the main shopping centres of Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven, Narberth, Pembroke, Pembroke Dock, and Tenby.

Councillor Rob Lewis, cabinet member for highways and planning, said: "We are aware of the difficulties our town centre traders are facing, and would like to support them as much as possible over the Christmas shopping period."

Meanwhile, neighbouring Carmarthenshire council is to offer free parking from Boxing Day to New Year's Day, but not before Christmas.

Budget cuts

The scheme will cost the authority more than £20,000.

The week between Christmas and New Year was considered to be of more benefit to businesses than the one originally proposed, which was from 2 to 8 January.

In previous years, free parking in Carmarthenshire has been provided for the two weeks before Christmas, at a cost of around £70,000.

But executive board members said as the council was facing budget cuts of millions of pounds, it would not be possible to give the concession this year.

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