Shoppers in Bolton town centre are in for more festive cheer after Bolton Council announced it has scrapped parking fees for both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.
Currently, free parking is in operation weekdays after 3pm and all day Saturday and Sunday until January 27, at Bow Street, Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon multi-storey car parks.
Council chiefs have now decided to make free parking available all day at these car parks on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day to encourage even more shoppers in to town.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, believes making it free all day will further boost high street trade.
He said: “Since we brought in the free parking offer, we’ve had feedback from retailers that it has been a real success, and they’ve had even more shoppers through their doors.
“I want to do everything I can to boost our town centre, and support our businesses and our residents, and I am happy to extend the free parking scheme.
“The extra free parking time will help shoppers take advantage of last-minute shopping and the post-Christmas sales.”
Commercial Manager for Marks and Spencer’s Bolton town centre store, Bruce Lambert, added: “We’re really pleased the council is extending the free parking on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. The free parking initiative has been very positive for M&S in the town centre and we have seen positive sales growth particularly at the weekend.”
Crompton Place Manager, Malcolm Angus, said: “Parking incentive schemes are very popular with our loyal shoppers so we definitely welcome this move by Bolton Council.
“It is pleasing to see support like this from the local authority to encourage more people to the town which is crucial for a healthy retail industry in Bolton.
“The Christmas shopping period is so valuable to retailers and so by offering free parking for that last minute gift hunting on Christmas Eve and then for those all important sales on Boxing Day, I think it is great support for the town’s traders.”
The council’s partners NCP, who operate Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon, and APCOA, who manage Bow Street, are implementing the scheme.
Deane Road and Topp Way are 24 hour car parks. The Octagon will open from 7am to 5pm on Christmas Eve and 8am to 6pm on Boxing Day. Bow Street will open from 9am to 5pm on Christmas Eve and from 9am to 6pm on Boxing Day.
The free parking scheme is just one part of Bolton Council’s programme to boost the town centre this Christmas.
Real reindeer, a free Santa’s grotto, a festive market, entertainment and an ice rink all feature in Bolton town centre’s winter wonderland extravaganza.
For more information go to www.boltontowncentre.co.uk.