ANOTHER month of free parking is being offered in Carmarthenshire town centres.

Carmarthenshire County Council has agreed to extend the current free parking period, brought in at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, throughout August to provide a summer of free parking in town centre car parks.

The council’s Executive Board said it was prepared to forego the significant loss of income – over £1.1million which would normally contribute towards the provision of essential highway and transportation services – to support town centre businesses as they recover from the pandemic.

Their decision also supports the changes being introduced in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford town centres from August 3 to allow safe social distancing and new outside trading opportunities.

From September 1, the council will revert to its ongoing pilot which offers free parking on dedicated days for each town centre, based on feedback from town centre traders and business forums.

Visitors will still be able to park for free at county council car parks until further notice on:

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Monday-Wednesday, 10am to 2pm, at town centre car parks in St Clears, Newcastle Emlyn, Llandovery, Llandeilo and Ammanford
Mondays and Tuesdays, 10am-4pm, in Llanelli town centre (plus Saturday and Sunday at Coleshill car park behind Llanelli Town Hall)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3.30pm-6pm, in Carmarthen town centre
Executive Board has also agreed to defer a planned 20p increase in car parking charges until the New Year.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for Environment, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic Carmarthenshire County Council decided not to charge for car parking. We have continued to offer free car parking for four months – I propose that we continue the free parking until September 1, throughout the whole of August, to draw in visitors and help parents wanting to shop for the new academic year, and to support the regeneration of our towns.

“Whilst this will have an effect on our budget, it’s important that we support regeneration whilst appreciating that funds from our car parks support public transport routes. We’ll continue to offer the free periods currently available to all towns.”

Watch the webcast for the Executive Board meeting, see the full report and other items on the agenda, visit the Council and Democracy section at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales.

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