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It’s the most wonderful time of the year...for parking

Waltham Forest has long been known as the most Christmassy of all the London boroughs through virtue of such classic carols as, ‘We three Kings of Leyton Orient are’, ‘Chingford merrily on high’ and ‘Let it snow, Leytonstone, let in snow’. But no doubt this year the borough will resound to the strains of ‘Park, the herald angels sing!’

For many retailers and businesses Christmas is a crucial time, and for shoppers local high streets can be at their busiest. So Waltham Forest Council has decided to make life easier for all in the build up to the festive period by offering relaxed parking charge periods.

“We want to encourage as many residents as possible to do their Christmas shopping in local shops on the many excellent high streets we have all over the borough,” explained Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.

“So we’re giving away two hours free parking in all town centre car parks at the weekends throughout December and free parking in all town centre car parks after 3pm Monday to Friday throughout December.”

The car parks included in the scheme – or the ten car parks of Christmas if you want to get in the mood – are Bedford Road E17, Brandon Road E17, Church Lane E11, Hall Lane E4, High Street E17, Linford Road E17, Mission Grove E17, Richmond Road E4, South Grove E17 and Stanley Road E10.

In addition to free parking to encourage residents to shop locally, there will also be no parking enforcement carried out on 25, 27 and 28 December and 1 January. There will also be no vehicle removals on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after 12.30pm.

“Whether you walk, cycle, go by public transport or drive, the message is clear – get down to your local high street and spend your Christmas shopping money locally,” said Cllr Loakes.

“Obviously the more environmentally friendly you can be the better, but we appreciate that you’re probably not going to strap a 20lb turkey or a six foot Christmas tree to your push bike, so take advantage of the free parking provision when you do need to use the car.

“Giving away free parking is obviously not a decision we take lightly in these cash-strapped times, so please use our generosity to help support local businesses and give them the vital trade that Christmas brings.

“And don’t just limit that to your pressies. If you’re going out for a drink, a bite to eat or seeking entertainment – do it in Waltham Forest and help keep your local area vital and vibrant.”

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