MOTORISTS have welcomed the official start of extended free parking in Bognor Regis.
Some 4,500 discs which entitle them to two hours without paying in the Hothamton site, as well as the original Lyon Street and Fiztleet car parks, have been bought.
The yellow cardboard clocks took effect from last Wednesday. Among those enjoying the free parking in Hothamton this week were Charlie Husband, 26, and her mother, Jean Husband.
“It is ideal when you want to pop into the centre to do some shopping. The car park is such a big one it is a lot easier to find a space. I hope they extend it even further,” said Charlie, of Flansham.
Jean added: “It’s brilliant. It must make it easier for shoppers using the town centre knowing that for two hours they have somewhere else to park for free.”
Gary Sleet, of Felpham, was also making the most of two hours free parking.
He said: “For people just wanting to look around a few shops or do a few errands this is ideal.”
“I hope the scheme continues to grow,” added the 67-year-old.
The parking scheme, now two years old, is funded by Arun and Bognor councils and Bognor Regis Traders’ Association.
Chris Heaps, the association’s chairman, said: “The public’s response to the new free parking has been very positive. By all accounts, they have been pleased with only having to pay £1 for a disc for a year’s parking.
“Having the extra free spaces is about making it more affordable for people to come into the town centre.
“It should also allow them more time and money to spend in the shops because they know they don’t have to rush back to their cars after 20 or 40 minutes.”
The inclusion of Hothamton means 272 ground level parking spaces are free for short-term parking and 343 in the Fitzleet multi-storey car park.
Glenna Frost, the town council’s clerk, said: “This provides members of the public with a wider choice of where to park and is something town council members have been negotiating for since the start.” Arun leader Cllr Gillian Brown said Arun was pleased to add another car park to the successful scheme.