Sunday, 6 January 2013

How Councils encourage people to drive to the shops

 Lambeth council has announced that shoppers looking for last-minute Christmas presents are being offered free parking in Lambeth on 21 and 22 December if they use the PayByPhone service.  Free parking will apply to all pay and display and shared use pay and display bays (not including suspended bays) for motorists registered with the scheme.
 but no free bus tickets to the shops.

Peckham car parks will be free to all visitors from this weekend until New Year’s Eve, and weekend parking is now free in the council’s car park near East Street.The move comes as Southwark council pledges to offer support to local businesses, and is urging residents to shop local this Christmas. 
 but no free bus tickets to the shops.

To help people get into the festive spirit Hillingdon Council is also offering free parking to residents in its car parks and on-street bays on Saturdays and Sundays in December. 
but no free bus tickets to the shops.

Father Christmas will be even merrier on Christmas Eve as he won’t need to pay for parking his sleigh as he picks up the final presents for the borough’s girls and boys.
Hounslow Council are giving Santa and his helpers the chance to finish their festive shopping for free at all of the borough’s car parks and on street parking bays on 24 December.

but no free bus tickets to the shops.

Monday 24 DecemberFree parking in Croydon Council run car parks

No enforcement of parking regulations in central zone pay and display bays and the regulations will be relaxed in all other zones after 5pm. Yellow-line restrictions remain in place.

but no free bus tickets to the shops.
Free parking arrives in Merton for Christmas 
Merton Council is giving a boost to both shoppers and shopkeepers this Christmas by providing free parking. 
Parking will be free in every council-owned car park throughout the borough for each weekend from the 1 December, leading up to Christmas Day, including Christmas Eve, which falls on a Monday.
but no free bus tickets to the shops.

Haringey Council has announced free parking for three days before Christmas.
On Saturday 22 December and on Christmas Eve, Monday 24 December, free parking will be available for shoppers in all car parks and in dedicated pay and display parking areas.
With Sunday parking already free this means that parking will cost nothing for the whole Christmas weekend in Harringay and other shopping areas in the borough.

but no free bus tickets to the shops.

If you Google 'Free Christmas Parking 2012' you'll come across page upon page of inducements for people to drive to the shops. But if you Google 'Free Christmas Bus 2012' or 'Free public transport Christmas 2012' you can see that no London Councils (or anywhere else in the country as far as I can tell) are supporting local businesses and their residents by offering free bus journeys. 

Free bus journeys would benefit the majority of central London households which don't even own a car to take to the shopping centre, as well as reducing congestion on the roads and the associated pollution, injuries and noise And, given there are many more people without cars than with them, what a boost that offers retailers!

1 comment:

asolihullcyclist said...

You are quite right that free bus passes would be a much better incentive than free parking. However logistically and financially for the councils, i would think it would be a completely different story. I can't imagine that car parking requires that much money to be devoted towards day to day upkeep, therefore offering free parking merely suspends revenue from that particular source (yes, financial incentives would have to be provided to the car park owners, but i can't imagine this being a huge amount).
On the other hand free bus passes would require quite a large subsidy to cover running costs such as driver wages, petrol, servicing etc.. I might be totally off the mark but would it actually be financially viable to do it?
Maybe an alternative would be a couple of well planned street closures around the area to encourage pedestrians and cyclists to venture out.