SHOPPERS in Otley will be able to take advantage of a string of free parking days in the run-up to Christmas.

The scheme, now in its fourth year, aims to encourage more visitors and residents to shop in town during the festive season.

Free parking will be available at the Beech Hill, Courthouse Street and North Parade car parks on Saturday, November 30 and then on December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.

The dates have been chosen both to cover the busiest weekends before Christmas and to tie in with major events in the town including the Victorian Fayre on Sunday, December 1.

Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon), who was instrumental in arranging the initiative, said: “At a time when high streets across the country are challenged by economic circumstances, Otley’s main shopping areas remain a vibrant, fabulous place for people to visit whether to pick up Christmas goodies or attend our Christmas events.

“We are pleased to announce the continuation of festive free parking to help alleviate people’s load a little at an already expensive time of year. Leeds City Council’s continued support of the scheme is much appreciated.”

Otley Town Council Chair Councillor Richard Hughes (Lib Deb, West Chevin) added: “Our Christmas programme of events keeps getting bigger and better and our shopping and market areas more and more diverse, with many unique offerings.

“Free parking over the season helps residents, shoppers and visitors and provides valuable support for local business.”