Early present for shoppers with plans for free parking

Christmas shopping
Christmas shopping

FREE festive parking is returning to Scarborough in a bid to boost town centre shopping.

Scarborough Council is once again proposing to waive parking charges in off-street car parks in the run-up to Christmas.

Councillors are set to consider a report outlining plans for the provision of free parking on selected Sundays in December, and from 3pm on selected Thursdays as well as the entire week before Christmas after 3pm.

Head of Tourism and Culture at the council Brian Bennett, who wrote the report, said: “As part of a positive approach to helping the town centre economy in both Scarborough and Whitby in the lead up to Christmas it is believed that the offer of free parking on selected days will provide an added incentive and hopefully discourage people from travelling to areas out of town offering better arrangements and will assist local businesses during this difficult economic climate.

“It is well documented and reported nationally that the country remains in economic downturn and that retailers are likely to face a challenging time at Christmas.

“As a result, and in order to help the local economy it is suggested that free parking be introduced on selected off-street council car parks.”

The council has offered free parking on its off-street car parks on Thursday evenings and Sundays in the run-up to Christmas since 1998.

Thursdays are traditionally late night shopping evenings in Scarborough’s town centre.

Last year free parking was approved on all three Sundays in December leading to Christmas and evenings the week before Christmas from 3pm.

This year’s proposals will be discussed at the council’s Technical Services, Highways and Transport portfolio meeting tomorrow where a decision will be made.

Christmas gets under way in Scarborough with the arrival of Santa on Saturday, November 19.

He will once again come into town on a fishing boat in the harbour before being whisked away to his grotto in Boyes, by which time the festive window will be restored having been smashed last week.

Santa will then return the following day for the Christmas Lights Switch On Parade on Sunday November 20, before the reindeer parade on December 4.