WIRRAL businesses have been given a pre-Christmas parking boost thanks to a council scheme to bring more people in the area.

The local authority is supporting the national "Small Business Saturday" campaign by making car parking in any council-operated space completely free of charge Saturday, December 5.

The idea was proposed at last night's council meeting as an amendment to the already announced initiative to help local businesses by introducing free parking from 3pm throughout December.

Cllr Stuart Whittingham, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’ve been contacted by numerous local businesses recently asking if the council could support the ‘Small Business Saturday’ initiative by providing free parking at all council car parks on December 5.

“The aims of the day completely fit in with the council’s pledge to create thriving small business and improve local high streets so we are delighted to be able to support this. On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, parking will be free in any council-run parking area – this includes all car parks and on-street parking spaces.”

The ‘Free After 3’ initiative, including the new resolution to lift parking charges all day on December 5, was approved at the meeting of full council on Thursday.

‘Free After 3’ parking begins on December 1 and runs until January 2.

It means parking in any council-run pay and display car park is free after 3pm.

In addition, people will be able to park for free all day at any council-operated car park on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The free parking all day on December 5 also includes parking in on-street spaces. Free After 3 only applies to car parks.