Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that free parking will remain available at two council-maintained town centre car parks to support traders until the end of the current financial year.
Drivers will be able to continue to park for free for the first three hours at the Rhiw multi-storey car park in Bridgend, and between noon and 3pm at John Street in Porthcawl.
With free parking also available at the Llynfi Road multi-storey in Maesteg and the Penprysg Road car park in Pencoed, the offer was introduced at the start of coronavirus pandemic as part of the council’s overall support package to help local businesses.
Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Stuart Baldwin said: “Throughout the pandemic, Bridgend County Borough Council has been doing all that it can to support local businesses and shoppers.
“That support has ranged from processing millions of pounds in financial funding, making free equipment, signage and training available so that premises can keep their staff and customers safe, providing free and concessionary rental rates for market stall traders, and of course making free car parking available to encourage more people to shop locally.
“The free parking will be available until 31 March, so I hope that businesses and shoppers alike will make the most of it, and will continue to support local trade.”
Responding to the news that the parking offer has been extended, Bridgend Town Traders Forum Chair Beth Daniel and Vice-Chair Simone Real issued a joint statement.
They said: “As chair and vice-chair of the Bridgend Town Traders Forum, we are very happy with the decision to extend the offer of three hours of free parking in Bridgend at the Rhiw car park.
“We welcome everything that can be done to support shoppers who visit and use the town centre, and this will help traders as we seek to work together to help the town centre bounce back from the pandemic.”
Margaret Minhinnick, President of Porthcawl Chamber of Trade, said: “Porthcawl Chamber of Trade welcomes the free car parking extension for our town centres.
“It encourages people not only to shop local, helping our town centre businesses survive and keeping more of the profit within the locality, but reduces travel and dangerous car emissions which cause poor air quality and climate pollution.”