VOTE: Will free parking tempt more people to do their Christmas shopping in Bognor Regis town centre?

A free parking bonanza will be available for motorists in Bognor Regis next month.

The drivers will be tempted into the town centre for Christmas by two separate schemes which have scrapped parking charges.

December 3 will see the launch of the two-hour fee-free parking in the Fitzleet multi-storey spaces and the Lyon Street car park every day.

This will be followed on the Saturdays of December 10, 17 and 24 by the traditional all-day free parking in Fitzleet arranged by Bognor’s chamber of commerce with Arun District Council.

Nick Stuart-Nicolson, the chamber’s president and chairman, has announced the launch of this year’s Saturday specials.

He said the chamber had been determined to continue with its initiative which had been helping motorists and town centre retailers for some 15 years.

“Shoppers to Bognor need actively encouraging to support their town centre and businesses, and to have pride in their town,” he said.

“We usually offer four Saturdays of all-day free parking but have reduced it to three this year because we wanted to avoid confusion with the two hour parking starting.”

The chamber worked with other groups, such as Bognor Regis Civic Society, during the past year to pressure Arun to provide two-hour free parking in the town centre.

Mr Stuart-Nicolson pledged the chamber would keep up its campaign to ensure more car parks joined the initial two sites to benefit from the scrapping of charges.

“We intend for these two sites to be only the start. We hope other sites, particularly the Regis Centre car park and the Hothamton car park off Queensway, will also have free short stay car parking.

“The chamber will remain committed to gaining more ground and more free parking through further extensive negotiations with the district council and Bognor Regis Town Council.

“What we have achieved is only the start. Free parking for two hours is a massive and tangible encouragement, especially with the promise of more to come.”