SHOPPERS and town centre visitors can enjoy free on-street car parking.

Hundreds of pay and display bays in Bolton town centre will be free to park in for two hours from Tuesday.

Shoppers can benefit from the free parking offer on weekdays, Saturdays and Bank Holidays, with on-street parking already free on Sundays.

The Bolton News:

A total of 25 streets with 356 bays will be free as part of the Bolton Council scheme to help local businesses who have been hard hit by the pandemic.

Motorists are being warned that although parking is free, they still need to get a pay-and-display ticket from the machine, otherwise they risk receiving a fine.

The council has already been providing free two-hour weekday parking at Bolton Market’s car park and Octagon, Topp Way and Deane Road NCP multi-storeys since July 7.

The initiatives are all part of a £1.25m support package which, in addition to free parking, includes measures to support town centres across the borough.

The Bolton News:

The council has also widened footpaths on Newport Street, Knowsley Street and Blackhorse Street near the market to make it easier for people to keep a safe distance from others.

New social distancing signage has also been installed in each district. Information Officers are also on hand to engage with businesses and shoppers in Bolton and district centres.

Motorists can also park all day for free at weekends and bank holidays in the NCP multi-storey car parks as part of an ongoing offer. Parking is also free all-year round in district centres.

The Bolton News:

Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Martyn Cox (pictured), said: “We want to help our local businesses and shoppers during what has been a very difficult few months.

“We acted quickly as lockdown restrictions started to ease to put in place measures that would help our economy.

“This is just one more thing that will make it that little bit easier if you want to visit a shop or a restaurant in town.”

Motorists are also reminded if they park in long-stay bays, charges will apply after two hours.

The streets where the free parking offer will apply are: Back Spring Gardens; Bark Street; Barn Street; Breightmet St; Cheadle Square; Church Bank; Clive Street; Crook Street; Dawson Lane; Garside St; Gas Street; Great Moor Street; Howell Croft North; Howell Croft South; Institute Street; Le Mans Crescent; Marsden Road; Mawdsley Street; Palace Street; Silverwell Street; St Georges Road; St George’s Street; Station Street, and Victoria Square North.

The Bolton News:

Council Leader, Cllr David Greenhalgh (pictured), added: “This is a valuable scheme and it is crucial that we find ways to attract shoppers and visitors back in to the heart of Bolton.

“The investment we are putting in makes it easier and more inviting for people to come to the town centre.

“Of course coronavirus has not gone away, and the recent announcement of stricter measures for Bolton and Greater Manchester means it is even more important that we all continue to socially distance and take precautions.”

The free parking offer is anticipated to be in place until November, after which the usual annual offer for Christmas will start.