Penzance town centre gets free parking to encourage festive shopping
FREE parking is now available in Penzance throughout the run-up to Christmas.
Drivers will pay nothing in council-owned car parks on Thursday evenings from 4pm, and all day on Saturdays, until December 21.
The move, approved by Cornwall Council following pressure from Penzance Chamber of Commerce, aims to boost trade in the town centre over the festive period.
The free parking has been funded with £21,000 of the £152,000 paid over by Sainsbury's as a condition of planning permission for its new store at Eastern Green to mitigate its negative impact on town-centre traders.
"We're encouraging people and making it easier for people to come to the town," said Dick Cliffe from the chamber of commerce.
"Paid parking is often a big barrier for people coming in. I have no doubt that footfall will be increased."
Mr Cliffe said supermarkets met a need, but for a "traditional Christmas" Penzance was the place to be.
There was "a certain charm" about the town centre and lots of activities planned for this month, he said.
"There's so much going on. Penzance is open for business. Supermarkets are just part of the trade."
Three Cornwall Council officers – Guy Thomas from the management department, planner Andy England and Kate Dickson, who works in parking – were involved in setting up the free parking scheme.