No free car parking for Conwy’s Christmas Shoppers
Image: Cllr Carrie Harper
Conwy County Council has come under fire from its own councillors for not offering free parking in its car parks in the run up to Christmas.
Whilst neighbouring counties Denbighshire and Gwynedd both offer free parking to encourage shoppers to visit the high street, Conwy offers none.
Both Wrexham and Anglesey County Councils also have similar free car parking schemes throughout December.
Gwynedd offers free parking all day, every day in selected car parks, as does Anglesey after 10 am.
And Denbighshire County Council offers free car parking after 3 pm in eight of its towns, including Rhyl, Denbigh and Llangollen.
Flintshire is the only other North Wales county not to offer free parking in the run-up to Christmas.
Cllr Anne McCaffrey feared Conwy shoppers could decide to travel across the borders to spend money in neighbouring counties after a difficult two years.
“Supporting local businesses this Christmas is a win-win,” she said.
“It helps the environment, local economy and residents too. But free parking is key. I’m concerned if Conwy is out of synch with neighbouring councils on this. After a difficult year, Conwy businesses need the Conwy pound to be spent in Conwy, not elsewhere!”
Cllr Aaron Wynne agreed.
“Conwy should follow neighbouring authorities and introduce free parking from now until Christmas. Local businesses have struggled throughout the COVID period, and I think the local authority has a role to play supporting local businesses and trying to get people to shop locally, rather than shop online,” he said.
“Llanrwst, for example, is the centre of the Conwy Valley. We want people to visit the shops and cafes. They can only do that if we follow the other local authorities.
“Places like Parc Llandudno and Mostyn Champneys, they offer free parking. They tend to cater for bigger national businesses. The smaller local high-street businesses we need to support, they’re the ones who would benefit from car parks becoming free.”
A spokeswoman for Conwy County Council confirmed the authority was not offering free parking in December.
Words: Richard Evans, Local Democracy Reporter
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