Residents are being encouraged to shop local this Christmas after free parking was secured in all three main towns.
Free parking has been secured at the Beacon Centre car part in North Shields during December, complementing the Forum Shopping Centre in Wallsend which already offers it.
And in Whitley Bay, a ‘Free after Three’ is aiming to encourage shoppers with free parking after 3pm, Monday to Saturday.
Parking charges will be suspended on Marine Gardens, Coquet Avenue, Holly Avenue, Beach Avenue, Park Parade, Roxburgh Terrace and the section of Park Avenue between its junction with York Road and Marine Gardens after 3pm.
The restriction on length of stay will be suspended on the existing free on-street parking facilities on Park View, Whitley Road and Marden Road after 3pm, plus in Back Park View Car Park, The Crescent Car Park, Whitley Road Car Park and Park Road Car Park.
The initiative by North Tyneside Council has been backed by Whitley Bay Big Local, Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade and ward councillors.
A spokesperson for Whitley Bay Big Local said: “Whitley Bay has so much to offer in the run up to Christmas and this scheme should enable more people who are coming to shop and soak up the festive atmosphere to enjoy the town centre during the festive period.
“We have been keen to see an initiative such as this trialled in our town and it is very encouraging that by everybody working together, that this has been made possible.”
June Tolson, of Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade, added: “This should be a welcome boost to both shoppers and businesses in the town.
“After lobbying for ‘Free after Three’ as a way of attracting people to shop in Whitley Bay, we must thank North Tyneside Council for sharing our vision that Whitley Bay can and will be an even more vibrant place for people to visit.”
In North Shields, parking charges will be suspended throughout December at 400 spaces in the Beacon Centre Car Park, following an agreement between North Tyneside Council and New River, who manage the site.
And in Wallsend, the restriction on length of stay in the John Street Car Park will continue to be suspended; and the Forum Car Park (also managed by New River) will continue to operate free of charge whilst redevelopment works in Wallsend town centre continue.