Visitors to Rochdale will be able to park for free for three hours at anytime of day, with the council’s new parking policy set to come into force within days.
The policy, among the most generous of all the Greater Manchester authorities, will be in place from 1 May.
The plan to extend the free parking currently on offer in Heywood to town centre car parks across the borough, was first unveiled late last year to boost business.
But the original proposal, which proposed three hours free parking only after 10am, was overhauled to ensure people visiting early in the morning didn’t miss out.
The change has been backed by key national groups, including the Federation of Small Businesses, who have given the council their ‘Business Buddy’ Award in recognition of the bold move.
Mark Widdup, Service Director for Economy and Environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “By investing in our town centres in this way, we are making it easier for residents and visitors to come and spend money with local businesses, who bring with them vital investment and jobs.
“We’d encourage people to take full advantage of this scheme and enjoy all that our town centres have to offer. In Rochdale alone, we’ve welcomed two new national coffee chains in recent months, in Costa and Java, as well as opening a new town centre market right next to our shoppers’ car park at Milton Street West.
“People will still need to display a ticket, so we’d advise visitors to always check the tariff boards.”
For details of council car parks in Rochdale, please visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/parking