Free parking in Bolton town centre has been extended until May 2017.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, has announced that parking in three NCP multi-storey car parks - Octagon, Topp Way and Deane Road – will continue to remain free at weekends and bank holidays for another two years.
The announcement comes as new figures show that since free car parking was introduced in May 2013, the number of vehicles using the multi-storey car parks has risen by 139 per cent.
Cllr Cliff Morris said: “Free parking makes it easier for people to come into town and I’m really pleased to announce that we’re extending it.
“This is a way of us supporting our retailers to encourage shoppers to come into Bolton town centre and spend their money here.
“Clearly the figures show that the free parking scheme has been a success, and the feedback we’ve had from retailers is that it has helped boost sales.”
Retail bosses have praised the council’s decision to extend the free parking scheme.
Marks and Spencer Bolton store manager, Grant Bramwell, added: “I’m delighted to see that Bolton Council has extended free car parking places for a further two years.
“This move will really encourage shoppers back into the town centre and will also support local business and traders in the town.”
The council’s partner NCP, who operate the car parks, is implementing the scheme.
NCP business manager, Adie Adams, said: “We’re delighted to see that each year the amount of people benefiting from this scheme is increasing, it shows that the word is spreading and helps encourage people to visit Bolton.
“NCP continues to fully support the council and their commitment to the growth of the town. We share their optimism and excitement for the future and enjoy being part of a great partnership.”