Free at last!

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BUSINESSES in Rainhill are celebrating after free car parking was restored to the village.

The St Helens Reporter told last year how retailers were being hit with a downturn in trade following the introduction of parking charges in the shopping centre’s car park.

Now after months of talks between council chiefs and car park leaseholders Excel, the car park will feature 24 free spaces for up to two hours.

There will also be 27 spaces for park and ride funded by Merseytravel.

St Helens Council staff will monitor the site and the car park will be free to shoppers for the first two hours.

Deputy council leade Barrie Grunewald said: “This has been a very complicated issue but we have prevailed and shoppers, retailers and commuters have got the desired result.

“I am delighted that the council has been able to negotiate the two hours free parking which will bring very significant benefits for retailers in this area.”

Carl Birchall of The Village Butcher in Rainhill added: “This is a much needed shot in the arm and a necessary boost.

“This is something we have been campaigning about for some time. We need all the help we can in the current climate. This is very good news.”