Devon

Free car parking to boost north Devon shops

Pay and display parking machine
Image caption The council said offering free car parking was a "gesture of goodwill"

Free parking is being offered to shoppers in north Devon in the run up to Christmas.

There will be no charges at selected pay and display car parks run by Torridge District Council on 8, 11, 18 and 22 December.

The council said it wanted to encourage people to shop locally and support local businesses.

Towns taking part include Bideford, Appledore, Holsworthy, Torrington, Northam and Westward Ho!

The free parking days were "carefully chosen" to coincide with key events in the local festive calendar, the council said.

'Difficult period'

It hoped this would act as an incentive for people to spend more time in town centres.

Parking Services member councillor Geoff Lee said: "Small shops and businesses are the cornerstones of the Torridge economy, and we know that many are facing difficulties during this period.

"The council is looking to save significant amounts of money in the coming months and years but is still sensitive to the needs of local residents and businesses.

"Offering free parking to shoppers before Christmas is just one initiative that the council is offering as a gesture of goodwill in these difficult times."

The council said all other parking conditions will remain in force and civil enforcement officers will be on patrol.

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