FREE parking will be rolled out across Waltham Forest this weekend in the hope of boosting trade in the run-up to Christmas.

The scheme, allowing shoppers to park for free for 15 minutes, will be implemented in high streets across the borough for the month of December before being made permanent early next year.

Car parks will also offer two hours free parking every Saturday and Thursday evening before Christmas as Waltham Forest Council seeks to encourage people to use struggling shops trying to woo customers back.

At the moment most shopping areas offer parking bays where drivers must buy vouchers from stores, but all will be given 15-minute free parking for the festive season.

The scheme will then be made permanent across the same areas next year, with the authority estimating the process will be completed by February or March.

Clyde Loakes, cabinet member for the environment, said: "We’re very mindful that for a lot of businesses Christmas is a key time, providing them with a substantial proportion of their profits for the year. By being so generous with our free parking this Christmas we hope local people will be encouraged to spend their money in local shops.

"We have also listened to the wishes of local residents and businesses in rolling out the 15-minute free parking in bays.

"I feel sure the majority of people will welcome the opportunity to park in bays all over the borough for free when they just want to pop into a shop for a pint of milk or loaf of bread."

The rollout comes after the scheme was introduced in Station Road and Chingford Mount Road in Chingford as well as High Road, Leyton, since 2011, proving to be a success in attracting shoppers who only wanted to buy odd items.

No parking enforcement will take place on bank holidays over the festive period and no vehicle removals will take place on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after 12:30pm.

The car parks offering two hours free parking on Saturdays prior to Christmas and Thursday evenings (from 4pm) before Christmas are listed below.

Brandon Road, Walthamstow

High Street, Walthamstow

Linford Road, Walthamstow

Mission Grove, Walthamstow

South Grove, Walthamstow

Church Lane, Leytonstone

Stanley Road, Leyton

Hall Lane, Chingford

Richmond Road, Chingford

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