Cornwall Council is offering free parking in all of its car parks, all day on Saturday December 5.
The aim is to encourage residents to shop locally and to boost trade in Cornish towns. The initiative means that anyone will be able to park in any Cornwall Council run car park on December 5 for free.
The Council says that despite being “set a stringent target” to increase the income from its car parks, they have performed well and consequently it is in a position to be able to support town centre businesses by offering one free day of parking in the run up to Christmas.
“We are trying to develop a much more interactive relationship with our town centres,” said Bert Biscoe, the Council’s cabinet member for transport.
“Car parks are there to manage town centre traffic. The income we receive from them is critical in finding the money to maintain Cornwall’s 7,000 kilometres of road network, much of which is unclassified rural roads.
“Providing a day of free parking is a useful way for the Council to support Cornish businesses and encourage people to continue using their car parks.”
The initiative has been greeted positively the business community. Dave Halton, chairman of the St Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted that Cornwall Council has announced this parking initiative. Saturday 5th December is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year and so it is great that the Council is helping towns to attract customers.”
“It is also Small Business Saturday and in St Austell we are promoting offers and events in the town and across the area that support this aim of supporting local small businesses. Free parking will help attract people into the town and to support these businesses.”