‘Shop Local This Christmas’ is the big message from Derbyshire Dales District Council, which is allowing free parking again from Sunday, December 1.
In a scheme designed to boost trade, and for the 12th year in a row, it will cost nothing to park in any of the council’s pay-and-display car parks in the Matlock region after 2 pm throughout December.
The initiative was first introduced in 2008 to help residents and businesses during the economic recession. Now it has become a festive staple.
Coun Garry Purdy, leader of the council, said: “Supporting and encouraging a thriving district is a key priority for us, and we are committed to helping local people and our business community.
“In a perfect world, we would like to make parking free all the time. But local government finances are incredibly tight, and income from car parking plays an important part in helping us to maintain services.”
The festive freebie scheme comes on top of the concession that allows locals to park free every day of the year up to 11 am and after 4 pm.
Free parking permits for this were issued to every one of the 34,000 households across Derbyshire Dales back in March.
Combining the two concessions means Dales residents have free parking for 21 hours every day in December.
Free parking extends to midnight each day, but motorists are reminded not to leave anything valuable in their vehicles because the lead-up to Christmas is often a choice time for thieves.