Free Bognor parking scheme is launched

Chris Heaps, left, and Paul Wells with the 2016 parking discs for Bognor Regis town centre
Chris Heaps, left, and Paul Wells with the 2016 parking discs for Bognor Regis town centre

SHOPPERS have been snapping up new discs to give them a year’s free parking in Bognor Regis town centre.

Some 600 of the £1 pink discs for 2016 were sold last weekend as they became available. They will take effect from January 1 and give their owners two hour free stays in the 605 general parking spaces in the Hothamton, Fitzleet and Lyon Street sites.

Among those who have eagerly bought their discs was Pagham resident Sue Austin. She said: It’s a really good scheme. I’ve used it for the last two years.

“It really makes me come into Bognor to do my shopping rather than go anywhere else.

“I come into town about two or three times a week. I use my disc every time.”

A total of 30,000 discs have been printed for next year in the joint initiative by Bognor Regis Traders’ Association, Arun District Council and Bognor Regis Town Council.

This follows the sale of a record 27,000 discs this year. Traders’ association chairman Chris Heaps said: “The scheme is really getting established in many people’s minds now.

“The free parking has helped to solidify the town centre in terms of shops and will continue to do so for the near future at least.

“It has complemented the public realm improvements which have taken place and the arrival of Toyubur Rahman, the town centre manager, and his events and activities and those of the town council as well.”

Car park owner Arun has given permission for the scheme, which started in 2012, to continue in 2017.

The discs are available from some 20 outlets in the town centre. Most display a poster in their windows.

The outlets are charged 60p for each disc. The association uses its share to pay for the discs and provide compensation to Arun for the loss of parking revenue.

Traders’ association vice-chairman Paul Wells said: “People are more positive about the town centre generally now than they have been for a while. That comes through in the number of discs that have been sold.

“It’s important the town centre competes against the rash of out of town stores which have arrived in the past six months. And the discs are helping it do that.”

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