COPELAND Council has brought forward plans to offer free parking in the borough.
The council had planned to introduce free parking from the start of December to help boost the town centre economies over the festive period.
But following the announcement that England will this week enter a four-week lockdown, the council will suspend charges for its car parks from Thursday, November 5, effective until January 3.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “We absolutely support the Government’s efforts to prevent all unnecessary travel and this move is NOT designed to encourage shoppers or visitors to the area. We continue to urge people to stay at home, to stay safe and to help protect the local NHS services.
“Our provision of free parking is to assist the NHS and those who are leading the fight against coronavirus, including staff of critical town centre businesses that must remain open, including food shops, doctor’s surgeries and pharmacies, and the residents who need to use them.
“We had planned to offer free parking throughout December, and we intend to honour this pledge to encourage residents to shop local and support our whole business community when it is safe for them to reopen.”
Car parks that are now free to use from Thursday for the permitted purposes only are listed at https://www.copeland.gov.uk/car-parks. Permit-holders will have their payments deferred.
Please note that there are a number of marked bays that are reserved for residents and not available for public use.