Free parking 24/7 all year - not just for Christmas!
Other local authorities may be offering it for a few days during the busy festive shopping period, but in West Oxfordshire parking is free 24/7 all year round.
And over the next few weeks drivers will be making the most of free parking at the District Council-owned car parks, with an estimated 50,000 vehicles expected to pass through Witney’s public car parks alone.
Last month, West Oxfordshire District Council affirmed its commitment to free 24/7 parking at all 16 of its car parks across the District and will be exploring ways to tackle an increasing demand for parking spaces in the biggest local town, Witney.
Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment at the Council (pictured), said: “The message is loud and clear – parking in West Oxfordshire is completely free, so come along and do your Christmas shopping here!
“Of course, it’s great that some other areas are offering free parking on some days during the festive season. But here in West, we’re extremely proud to be the only authority in Oxfordshire to offer free 24/7 parking in support of our local economy, shoppers, visitors and residents in our towns and villages.”
Witney Chamber of Trade and Commerce says that free parking is “invaluable” to West Oxfordshire and particularly Witney, as the District’s main shopping destination.
Chairman Lesley Semaine said: “It’s a real coup to have free parking every day of the week, all year round. It’s fair to say that this has helped pull local businesses through the recession. All you need to do is take a look around Witney and see how bustling it is.
“I run a pub in Witney and some visitors come in and say they can’t believe it’s free parking – the icing on the cake is having the Marriotts Close Multi-Storey Car Park free. People simply can’t believe it.
“But it’s not just about being free, we have a good volume of car parking spaces and the car parks, particularly in Witney, are in great locations and are of a really good standard. The way the car parks are managed also help with the traffic flow so people are able to find spaces, even though it’s always busy. West Oxfordshire definitely leads the way on this.”
Rodney Hartnell, manager of the Woolgate Shopping Centre in Witney, said: “People living outside of Witney have a choice of where to go shopping and I believe free parking does encourage them to choose here rather than other destinations.
“In these times of austerity, every penny counts so there’s no doubt that free parking is helpful to shoppers. We think it’s a very big draw.”
Shopper Sarah Grey, from Carterton, who was out buying Christmas presents and had parked at Witney’s Woolgate Centre, said: “I either use the car parks in Carterton or come here to Witney. It’s rare I go anywhere else as I can get everything I need – I try to avoid Oxford because the parking is so expensive. To have free parking on your doorstep is great.”
There are 2,400 parking spaces in Council-owned car parks across West Oxfordshire, as well 650 on-street parking spaces and 108 disabled spaces.
Time restrictions apply in the car parks to help with traffic flow and community wardens monitor these.
To find out more about car parks and parking in Witney, see www.westoxon.gov.uk
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