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30 November 2020
Shoppers will be able to park in Swindon’s town centre at a reduced rate in December as many retailers plan to extend their opening hours.
With many shops planning to extend their opening hours once national restrictions are lifted from Wednesday (2 Dec), Swindon Borough Council will be introducing a fixed £1 rate from 4pm onwards at its car parks.
The new car parking rate will be available at Brunel North, Brunel West and Fleming Way multi-storey car parks from 4pm Wednesday (2 Dec) until 2 January 2021.
It is hoped that the move will encourage shoppers to visit the town centre throughout the day and evening to aid social distancing and help alleviate long queues.
Non-essential retailers which were required to close from 5 November as part of the national restrictions will be able to reopen from Wednesday (2 Dec), with many introducing longer hours to allow shoppers to visit later in the evening. Shops including Marks and Spencer, Primark and Wilko will be open from 8am to 8pm and full details of opening hours for all shops can be found on their respective websites or social media channels.
Councillor Robert Jandy, Cabinet Member for Organisational Excellence, said: “We know that many residents will be keen to get out and do some Christmas shopping, or simply visit some of the shops they’ve missed during these lockdown restrictions but we need to make sure this is done safely. We’re working closely with our partners to make sure all the right measures are in place, but it’s up to all of us to continue following the guidance and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Offering more flexible parking rates, in addition to the free parking already in place on Sundays, is just one of the ways we are supporting local businesses through these turbulent times and we hope it will encourage and enable people to visit the town centre safely.”
Angie Blackford, inSwindon BID Business & Marketing Manager, said: “This is great news for our town centre. We have been working closely with Swindon Borough Council over the past few months to consider options for parking concessions in a bid to support the town centre economy after what has been a very challenging few months for the businesses.
“We must remember that local restrictions are still in place. To provide a safer environment, many of the town’s businesses will be trading with extended hours throughout December and the new parking concession will be a welcomed addition to this. Along with the free parking on Sunday currently in place, this is a very positive step and will certainly boost footfall for Swindon’s town centre.
“This is a great opportunity for people to #LoveLocal and support the wide range of independent and national businesses on offer. Everyone is working hard to ensure Swindon town centre remains a safe place to visit and we are looking forward to seeing our town centre thrive. #ShineOnSwindon. We will be keeping everyone up to date with opening hours and festive offers on our Swindon Town Centre social media channels; @inSwindon.”