Gwynedd council could stop offering free parking in council car parks in the run-up to Christmas, as part of their plans to make savings of nearly £13m this year.

Traders have traditionally benefited from the free parking scheme before Christmas, which encourages shoppers to visit the High Street, during one of the most crucial trading periods of the year.

Councillors are now considering scrapping the free parking scheme for 2019/20, which costs the council an estimated £45,000 a year to run. But rather than scrapping free parking at Christmas, some traders believe the scheme should be extended throughout the year.

Jo Pott Mercer, owner of Kyffin Café Deli, Jo Pott Mercer Clothes and Jo Pott Mercer Interiors on Bangor High Street, said: “I understand a Council’s need to collect funds wherever it can and these are difficult times.

“High Street retailers depend on footfall and anything which makes it easier for people to walk our streets such as free parking is desirable.

“Why are they not turning their heads to the Welsh Assembly & Westminster to focus attention on a better balance between online and High Street shopping?

“We are taxed, Online is not. Cutting budget spending on free parking is short term and parochial thinking. They need to see the bigger picture and give our Assembly Member our views.”