Festive shoppers in Rochdale borough are in line for an early Christmas present, with the council set to introduce free parking for three weeks during the main shopping period.
The move, approved by the council’s cabinet this week, will mean that residents and visitors can enjoy free parking in town centre car parks when parking after 10am from Saturday 13 December to Saturday 4 January. (inclusive)
Rochdale Council Leader, Cllr Richard Farnell, said: “Rochdale Council wants to do everything it can to support local shops and free parking is just the ticket to help boost trade. Our town centres have a number of independent shops and high street names, as well as some great places to eat and drink, and we want to encourage as many people as possible to come and enjoy them during the Christmas shopping and January sales period. By introducing free parking we are trying to make it as easy as possible for our residents and visitors to support our many local businesses at a time when we know money is tight.”
The changes, which will apply in all town centre council car parks in the borough and include on street pay and display parking areas, will help lighten the load for shoppers during one of the most expensive times of the year and make it easier for them to support their local town centre.
Graeme Fitchett, Manager of Marks and Spencers in Rochdale, said: “These types of initiatives are crucial to businesses at this peak trading time and give towns like Rochdale a massive opportunity to help lure consumers away from the big out of town shopping centres.”
And visitors will have plenty of choice about where to park following the opening of the new 200 space car park on the former bus station site, which is set to take place this Friday (28 Nov).
The car parks on the Baillie Street and the former St Andrews site add a further 300 spots for shoppers, an increase of 85 on the previous number of spaces provided in the old bus station car park.
Signage and pathways will also open on the former municipal offices site on Friday to make it easier for visitors to move around the town centre.
The full list of sites included in the scheme is: