Extra free parking for town centre Christmas shoppers

Dewsbury will be lit up for Christmas on Saturday, November 21.

Dewsbury will be lit up for Christmas on Saturday, November 21.

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Extra free parking in Dewsbury in the run up to Christmas has been agreed as an early present to town centre businesses.

Traditionally, up to 20 hours of concessions have been provided on the last three Wednesdays and the two Saturdays before the big day.

But to help bring in more shoppers Kirklees Council has agreed this week to add additional dates, including Christmas Eve.

Other dates include Wednesday, November 30 and Saturday December 3.

Extra dates have also been added in Huddersfield and Holmfirth.

The report, discussed and agreed by the council’s cabinet, reads: “The aim of this initiative is to encourage greater visitor numbers, whilst promoting local shopping and to make the most of the variety of both established and independent shops within the three towns and in so doing, increase trade.

“More and more people see the benefit of shopping locally and the council considers that Christmas is the perfect time to support local businesses, small shops and businesses and provide a boost to the Kirklees economy.

“Suspending parking tariffs before Christmas should assist in increasing footfall figures within the town centres.

“The use of the hours has been agreed by officers under delegation after consultation with local ward councillors for the relevant town centres.”

The annual concessions have been in place over for over a decade and is estimated to cost the council £23,000 each year in lost revenue.

Adding the extra dates has more than doubled the council’s potential losses to around £53,000.

As part of the offer, businesses within the town centres will be asked to discourage employees from parking in the free spaces, thus defeating the object of the scheme.

The free parking in Dewsbury will run from 2pm on Wednesdays, November 30, and December 7, 14 and 21.

It will be free from 2pm on Saturdays, December 10 and 17 and free all day on December 3 and 24.