01/02/12.....Cheaper and more free parking aims to boost local economy -
MOTORISTS in Thame and other towns in South Oxfordshire could see the price of their parking season tickets slashed.
Under plans going to cabinet on Monday, February 13, season tickets for South Oxfordshire District Council car parks in Thame, Didcot, Goring, Henley and Wallingford will be available for half-price from April 1, 2012 for those working in the district. Also, parking on Saturday afternoons from 2pm will be free all year round.
The offer means that, for instance, someone working in Thame who parks in the Cattlemarket car park will pay £168 for an annual season ticket rather than £336, that's less than £4 per week.
SODC says: "The introduction of half-price season tickets, and free Saturday afternoon parking, is designed not only to reward and give a financial boost to those who make a significant contribution to the South Oxfordshire economy through working in the district, but also to encourage people to shop locally, especially on a Saturday afternoon.
Both parking initiatives are in line with the recent “Portas Review”, which recommended that local areas should use parking schemes to help boost high street trade. While reducing parking income for the council by around £60,000 a year, it is estimated that the new initiatives will provide a major boost for the local economy, bringing an increase in footfall and much needed trade for both independents and high street names."
These two big initiatives are not the only potential parking present on offer this year in South Oxfordshire. To help celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the district council also plans to allow free parking in its car parks on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 June, meaning that people will be able to attend events in the towns and enjoy the celebrations with friends without having to worry about the cost of parking.
If approved by cabinet on Monday 13 February, the proposals will form part of the 2012/13 budget, which is set for consideration by South Oxfordshire District Council on Thursday 23 February. If the proposals are passed by council, then full details of the new parking arrangements will be publicised prominently during March.