THE business community in Mallow has been given an early Christmas present aimed at encouraging shoppers to 'spend, spend, spend' in the town during the lead up to the festive season.
This after local county councillors unanimously backed a proposal to provide an hour free car parking in all Mallow's public car parks from Friday, November 28 through to Christmas Eve.
The existing arrangements of free parking up to 10am and after 5pm (Mon-Sat) and free parking all day Sunday will remain unchanged.
Welcoming the move Cllr John Paul O'Shea said it would help provide a timely boost for the local economy.
"The Municipal District Council has worked proactively with Mallow Chamber to put this most welcome initiative in place," said Cllr O'Shea.
He was at pains to point out that traffic wardens will still be on duty across Mallow during December to maintain the traffic flow to and from the town.
"In order to keep the turnover of spaces on the Main Street flowing, pay parking there will be limited to a single hour," said Cllr O'Shea.
Mallow Chamber president Kevin O'Keeffe endorsed the arrangement, saying he hoped it would encourage people shop local over the Christmas period.
"Shopping in Mallow will be a lot less stressful that spending hours in long queues trying to get into retail centres in and around Cork City. This measure will allow people to hit the shops in their own time and at no extra cost," he said.