'Free after three' Christmas parking offer confirmed
Christmas will come early to Darlington this year after councillors agreed to introduce festive parking offers for motorists.
Parking will be ‘free after three’ in all council short and long-stay car parks starting on Thursday 22 November – the night of the popular Christmas lights switch-on event.
The ‘free after three’ offer will be available every day of the week until Wednesday 2 January.
In previous years the ‘free after three’ offer was only made available on Thursdays, but this year councillors agreed that it should be extended to make sure as many people as possible had the chance to benefit during the festive period.
The Christmas parking offer will sit beside existing parking offers in the town, including £2 for all-day parking in East Street car park (above Wilkos) and the two hours free parking offer in all council long-stay car parks.
This means that people choosing to park in long-stay car parks will be able to take advantage of free parking from 1pm every day for five weeks.
Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment, said: “In all the years I’ve been a member of this council I don’t think we’ve had a Christmas parking offer as generous as this one.
“If you combine the ‘free after three’ offer with the two hours free parking, it offers a substantial period of time that people will be able to come into Darlington to shop and eat and make the most of what the town has to offer at Christmas.
“We hope families will take advantage and come down straight from the school run or that shoppers on a Saturday feel that they have that extra time to enjoy themselves.”
The Christmas lights switch on event, hosted by TFM and featuring live entertainment and fireworks, will take place in the Market Square from 5pm until 6.30pm.
A range of festive events and activities are being planned throughout the town centre in December, some by the council and others by the Cornmill and Queen Street shopping centres and by the markets operator Market Asset Management.
More information on all Christmas events will be shared closer to the time.