Sheffield will have free parking in festive countdown

Money being inserted into a car park meter in Sheffield city centre
Money being inserted into a car park meter in Sheffield city centre
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A free parking initiative is to be offered in Sheffield in the run-up to Christmas, council chiefs have confirmed today.

The council has run such initiatives in the past but had not announced any such scheme yet, although rival shopping towns Rotherham and Chesterfield had.

Last year parking in Sheffield was free after 3pm on Wednesdays in the festive countdown.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business at the council, said today officers were still deciding what form this year’s incentive will take in terms of how and when it would operate.

But Coun Bramall added: “We will be doing something.

“We think parking schemes can be beneficial for local businesses as they encourage people into the city centre to shop. During the Christmas period people’s budgets are also stretched so it is a bit of a boost.”

Details of the parking scheme are expected to be made public in the next couple of weeks.

Opposition councillors had already submitted a motion to next week’s council meeting, urging leaders to offer an initiative.

They feared shoppers could go elsewhere otherwise, and that the scheme would not be in place in time for the Christmas lights switch-on.

Coun Colin Ross, leader of Sheffield’s Liberal Democrats, put forward the motion.

He said: “We believe that after pressure from the opposition the council have decided they need to do this, and we are very pleased they have as well - it is the best thing for Sheffield.”

Shoppers also welcomed the news.

Sam Jones said: “It should be free all the time, to get people to use the city centre.”