West Berkshire Council gives shoppers the gift of free parking this Christmas
Local authority spreads some festive cheer by scrapping charges on certain days in December
West Berkshire Council is giving shoppers a festive treat – by making free parking available at its car parks on designated dates in December to support retailers in the run up to Christmas.
This includes free parking on the market days from Wednesday, December 9, in Hungerford, Newbury and Thatcham (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays respectively).
In addition, free car parking will be available in all the council’s public car parks from Monday, December 21, to Christmas Day inclusive.
The council’s staff car park in Market Street, Newbury, will also be open to the public free of charge every weekend from December 12/13.
The pedestrianised zone in Newbury town centre will be extended until 10pm on Thursday evenings from December 10 until Christmas and also until 10pm from December 21 until Christmas Day.
The zone will remain open in the morning to support deliveries. This temporary measure covers Northbrook Street, the north end of Bartholomew Street, and the Market Square.
Pangbourne and Theale will also benefit from free parking on Thursdays, December 10 and 17.
West Berkshire Council executive member for transport and countryside Richard Somner (Con, Tilehurst South and Holybrook) said: “We are delighted to provide free parking days across West Berkshire to support retailers and help boost visits to 'High Streets' in the lead up to Christmas.
"We are also enabling retailers to extend their opening hours should they wish to do so.
"This follows the recent Government announcement giving local authorities the discretion to allow shops to open longer from Monday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas and through January.
“In addition, the temporary extension of the pedestrianised zone in Newbury will help businesses and shoppers to comply with social distance guidance as it will make additional floor space available for queuing outside of shops and businesses.
“We thank all retailers for their sterling efforts to operate in a Covid-secure manner, and encourage people to follow the Covid rules while supporting local shops, cafes, and restaurants.
"This includes keeping a safe distance from others, washing/sanitising hands regularly and wearing a face covering unless exempt to protect the wearer and other shoppers.”
Free car parking will be available in the council’s car parks throughout the day on:
Hungerford Market Day – Wednesdays, December 9, 16
Newbury Market Day – Thursdays, December 10, 17
Thatcham Market Day – Fridays, December 11, 18
Pangbourne – Thursdays, December 10, 17
Theale – Thursdays, December 10, 17
All council-run car parks – December 21 to 25
Posters about the free parking offer will be on display at public car park tariff boards on the day when parking is free.
If the car park is one of the ‘pay on exit’ car parks, those parking should take a ticket from the entrance barrier as usual.
On exit, visitors just need to drive straight to the barrier which will open automatically without charge.