TER George StreetThe council is to waive parking charges after 5:00pm on many city centre streets around Christmas time.

They already tried this last year when it was hailed a great success by shoppers and traders alike and now they are to continue their Alive after Five campaign again this year.

From 2 December till 28 December parking charges will not be enforced after 5:00pm in George Street and other city centre streets

Free parking is only one part of the Alive after Five scheme but is clearly a central part. Essential Edinburgh said that most importantly it was important to encourage the traders in the city centre to stay open later.

Streets in the West End, Broughton Street and Leith will also be included in the plans.

The Council will pay for this parking after hours, in that they will not be able to collect parking charges for the hour and a half after 5:00pm. Essential Edinburgh will also subsidise the cost as they did last year.

Councillor Lesley Hinds the Transport Convenor said:-“The Christmas shopping period is the busiest time of the year for retailers and we want to encourage facilities to stay open longer to make the most of this.

“We have agreed with Marketing Edinburgh and Essential Edinburgh to continue with free evening parking this year as part of Alive after Five as it is popular with shoppers at Christmas and those wanting to take advantage of some of the fantastic new attractions that  make up this year’s Edinburgh’s Christmas. There are no longer road closures in the city centre due to tram works, which is another great bonus.”

Andy Neal Chief Executive at Essential Edinburgh said:-“We are very pleased with this measure to support the Alive after Five Campaign. Essential Edinburgh has played a pivotal role in encouraging city centre shops to stay open later and so anything which eases and improves access to parking for people looking to come to the city centre to shop or enjoy the fantastic hospitality that is on offer is to be applauded, particularly at a time of the year which is absolutely critical to so many businesses in the city centre.”