Free parking will now be available on weekdays in Bolton town centre from Monday, October 28.
Since May, thousands of spaces at Deane Road, the Octagon, and Topp Way multi-storey car parks have been free all day Saturday and Sunday, and Bank Holidays.
And now shoppers in Bolton town centre are in for more festive cheer after council bosses announced that free parking at these car parks will be extended to include weekdays, after 3pm. Parking will also be free all day Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
The free after 3pm parking initiative will run until Friday, January 10, 2014. The free weekend and Bank Holiday parking promotion will continue until May 2014.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We want to do everything we can to encourage more people into town and to support our town centre businesses, particularly in the run up to Christmas and New Year.
“The feedback we’ve had from retailers is that the free parking scheme has had a positive impact on their sales. We’ve taken the views of our key retailers on board and timed the free after 3pm extension to include the half term holidays.
“We’ve got a bumper festive package this year and the free parking extension helps support this.”
The programme of events includes a special Christmas lights switch-on party with BBC 1’s The One Show on Monday, November 11. From November 30, the popular 200 square metre ice rink will return, plus real reindeer and a free Santa’s grotto will be in town.
A giant 100ft Ferris wheel will be on Victoria Square from December 12, a speciality market will be on Newport Street from December 12 to 15, and street entertainment will also be laid on to pull in the crowds.
Dates, costs and times of events are varied and information will be uploaded to the Visit Bolton website as it is confirmed.
The council’s partners NCP, who operate Deane Road, the Octagon and Topp Way are implementing the scheme.