‘Free after three’ parking initiative supports Chippenham business

By Anita Jaynes on September 09, 2015

A new pilot parking initiative from Chippenham BID – Free After Three – is set to launch Thursday September 3 and, as the name suggests, will offer free parking after 3pm every Thursday in Emery Gate and Borough Parade car parks. The initiative is expected to result in a boost to local trade and follows extensive research into town centre parking that reveals these two car parks are typically underused after 3pm.

Carolyn Brownell, manager of Chippenham BID said: “Parking remains an issue for the town, as it does with many modern cities and town centres, and the BID is committed to helping address the problem. But with no easy solution it is important to have an accurate view of the situation and to think strategically. The research into Chippenham parking has been invaluable in illustrating the true extent of the situation, as well as highlighting some opportunities to better manage the resources we have.

“Both retailers and office businesses are reliant on parking,  however, the research showed that there were times when parking levels at Emery Gate and Borough Parking dropped off later in the afternoon. It makes sense to utilise this slack period by offering a period of free parking as an incentive for people to visit the town centre and the BID area. Thursday is an excellent day for such a scheme as it has traditionally been a day when people do extra shopping and business mid-week, and the scheme is also well timed as the town gears up for Christmas.

“As well as helping shops and offices, the Free After Three scheme should also help improve the all-important evening economy, as people can now take advantage of everything Chippenham has to offer after office hours, including our fantastic restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, without worrying about parking. Businesses in the town should waste no time in promoting the scheme to help build their trade on Thursdays.”

For more information on the Chippenham BID and the Free After Three scheme visit www.chippenhambid.co.uk

Pictured above: Carolyn Brownell, Chippenham BID manager