Free car park offer is just the ticket for Christmas shoppers

FESTIVE shopping is being made easier in North Devon and Torridge with free parking days being offered across the two districts in the run-up to Christmas.

In consultation with town councils, Torridge District Council and North Devon Council have both agreed to waive fees for shoppers on selected days.

In North Devon, free afternoon parking at certain council-run car parks in Barnstaple, South Molton and Ilfracombe is being offered on six separate days.

Charges will be suspended from 2pm to 6pm, from Thursday, December 15 to Saturday, December 17, and again from Thursday, December 22 to Saturday, December 24. See below for a list of car parks affected.

In Torridge, free parking will be available in all Bideford car parks on Saturday, December 3; in all Holsworthy car parks on Wednesday, December 21; and in all Torrington car parks on Friday, December 23. Parking at Barley Grove and Sydney House will also be free on Saturday, December 17 and Saturday, December 24.

Parking will be free in Northam, Appledore and Westward Ho! on Saturday, December 10.

The move has been welcomed by business groups, including BidBarnstaple, a business-led initiative which aims to improve the local trading environment.

BidBarnstaple co-ordinator Sue Rawle said: “The board is very pleased that North Devon Council has taken this action.

“We are confident it will help encourage shoppers into the town centre, and I’m sure it will help the trading environment as a result.”

North Devon Council leader, Councillor Brian Greenslade, said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to come into our towns to do their Christmas shopping, to help the local economy.

“Therefore, we’ve decided to suspend our car-parking charges for six afternoons in December as a goodwill gesture to residents.

“We hope this will be good news for shoppers and give a welcome boost to local businesses.”

Drivers are being asked to check the signage at car parks to make sure the free parking applies on the day and time they are parked there.

Fee changes affecting North Devon Council-run car parks:

Bear Street, Barnstaple

Queen Street, Barnstaple

North Walk, Barnstaple

Commercial Road, Barnstaple

Cattle Market, Barnstaple

Tuly Street, Barnstaple

Litchdon Street, Barnstaple

Paiges Lane, Barnstaple

Multi-storey car park (deck 3 only), off Queen Street, Barnstaple

Central car park, South Molton

Jubilee Gardens, Ilfracombe

Wilder Road, Ilfracombe

Oxford Grove, Ilfracombe