DRIVERS are being offered free half hour parking at all Cornwall council car parks next month to try and boost shopping.
The move comes after businesses have called on the council to help encourage people back into town centres.
The proposal is that drivers can apply for a free half an hour and that the scheme will run between March 1 and April 20.
Councillor Bert Biscoe, responsible for transport at the council, said: “It is very important that car parks should contribute to the competitive environment of our town centres, and that the council should manage the car parks to support local businesses.
“These trials are an effort to understand what measures, when and in which places, we can use in future to enhance trading, improve accessibility for people needing to come into town centres for services, and to sustain car parks income to contribute to the maintenance of the road network.”
He said it was too expensive to change all the pay and display machines so people have to register with on a mobile phone payment service to get their free half hour.
Although the system is easy to use, first time users will have to give initial information and may find it easier to register online at www.ringgo.co.uk.
Other measures in place to support town centres include a trial of a £1 evening charge after 6pm in Penzance, Newquay and Falmouth. Members of the public can also park for £1 after 4pm in some short stay car parks in Truro and St Austell, while some other towns have free parking after 4pm.
Check the details on tariff boards in individual car parks for more information.