FREE Saturday parking will be introduced on all council-run car parks in St Helens town centre from this weekend - in a bid to support the local economy over the Christmas period.

Starting from Saturday 25 November – the same day as the Christmas lights switch-on event headlined by The K’s – free car parking will be available all-day Saturday over the next four-weeks.

This includes Saturday, December 23 – with free parking already in place on a Sunday.

Free Saturday parking is already available in Earlestown, which has a town centre.

It continues to be a battle for town centre traders - given the cost-of-living crisis and the challenges faced by attracting footfall to the town centre.

The closure of Wilko has had a knock on affected numerous nearby stores, which have seen footfall drop.

Council statement

Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, deputy leader of St Helens Borough Council and cabinet member for strategic transport, said: “We know many residents and businesses want to see free parking introduced in St Helens town centre more often, but doing so comes at a cost to the council at a time when we need to manage a balanced budget and protect essential services which so many in our borough depend on.

“However, we recognise the importance of supporting local retailers too during the busiest time of year so we’re happy to offer free Saturday parking for the next month as a means of encouraging people into St Helens town centre – starting this Saturday in time for Christmas lights switch-on event which is a great occasion for the town and not to be missed with the top-class free music and entertainment on offer.”

Car parks free on a Saturday include:

Birchley Street – Surface Car Park

Central Street – Surface Car Park

Hardshaw Centre – Roof Top Car Park

Mill Street – Surface Car Park

Millennium Centre – Surface Car Park

North John Street – Surface Car Park

Parr Street – Surface Car Park

Tolver Street – Surface Car Park

Tontine – Multi Storey Car Park

Ward Street – Surface Car Park

Waterloo Street – Surface Car Park

This offer does not apply to on street pay and display parking spaces.