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Parking Voucher Scheme is a Runaway Success

Friday, February 25th, 2011
Shopping in Dorchester
Shopping in Dorchester

Dorchester BID’s voucher scheme, which allows shoppers and visitors to get up to 2 hours free parking anytime in town, has been hailed as a great success for encouraging shopping in Dorchester.

The scheme has been on trial since November and due to the very positive response from businesses and shoppers alike the system is now going to be permanent for the remaining two years of the DBID term.

The DBID office has had calls from over the UK and even an enquiry from Limerick from towns wanting to offer a similar scheme to visitors to encourage trade.

Phil Gordon, Director of projects commented “I am delighted that in partnership with WDDC we have been able to deliver this scheme for the car parks in Dorchester. It was always going to be popular with the public who now get to park free as long as they spend money in supporting businesses (that display the blue and white ‘FREE Parking’ sticker) but a number of shops and businesses have reported a lift in their low-end sales from people wanting to spend over the £10 minimum to qualify for the parking refund.”

“I am also very pleased to announce that from the end of February, Dorset County Council is joining the scheme so all on-street pay and display machines close to the town centre will now carry the vouchers. These vouchers will have to be used either later in the day of issue or on a return visit to town as the voucher is on the rear of the ticket which stays in your car whilst parked.  I know shops are already being flexible on the date shown on the voucher so this should not be a problem at all as they want to offer the same deal on the street meters too.”

West Dorset District Council Leader Robert Gould said: “It’s fantastic to hear that the parking voucher scheme is such a success in Dorchester and that both local people and businesses are benefiting from it. “Helping the local economy in these difficult times is one of the council’s key objectives and this is the sixth year running that we’ve frozen short stay car parking charges to encourage shoppers and visitors into the town centres.”

DCC’s on-street meters have been in place for some time now and were originally all set for a maximum of 1 hour but after discussions with DBID, the Chamber of Commerce and other local bodies, DCC has changed some areas to allow for up to 3 hours a move that has been universally welcomed. The extended time areas are South Walks, Linden Avenue, The Grove and School lane. This means that these longer stay areas now work well with the RingGo pay by phone parking system.

A spokesman for Dorset County Council said; ”We are pleased to be working closely with DBID on this latest initiative and in any other way we can to further the best interests of the town’s viability”.

The full list of participating business accepting the vouchers is on the website. If you are business in town that would like to join in the scheme please contact Phil at the BID office.

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