Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Saturday, 15 November 2008

Traders appeal for free parking

Work on Y Maes, Caernarfon
Traders say the redevelopment work has affected trade

Businesses are appealing for free parking in the Gwynedd town of Caernarfon during the Christmas period.

Chamber of trade members say they should have special consideration because of the "disturbance" they have suffered due to redevelopments.

Chamber secretary Eirian James said the work had been going on for over 12 months, and was affecting trade.

Gwynedd council said some people had taken unfair advantage of the free parking.

Last year, the council did not to offer the perk of free parking at its 41 pay-and-display car parks throughout the county.

The free parking scheme had run for 11 years.

"We were all disappointed last year because people knew that parking was free as soon as the schools broke up for the holidays," said Ms James.

"We suffered a double whammy with the cost of parking going up in the summer, then the work starting on the town square.

"This year we will be putting pressure on the council to bring free parking back, as the redevelopment work is still going on after 12 months, and there has been a lot of disturbance," she added.

However, shoppers will be able to take advantage of free parking in one area of the town as the Harbour Trust is to allow free parking at its Slate Quay site for the holiday.

"We are extremely grateful to them for this," said Ms James.

A Gwynedd council spokesman said the end of the free parking was part of a review in the county.

"This is in line with practises in a number of nearby counties," he said.

"We would also note that one of the main reasons for doing away with this practice was because there was a tendency by some to park for long periods in the car parks during his period.

"This did not help turnover and meant shoppers could not always benefit from the scheme."

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