Residents across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will have access to a generous package of travel offers in the run to up to Christmas, in a bid to support local businesses.
Bus passengers will receive an early Christmas present from both Yellow Buses and Morebus in the form of a ticket that permits from two to five people to travel together on any number of journeys in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area for just £5 - a saving of £7 on the normal price.
The discounted tickets, purchased from the driver, will be available throughout the day each Sunday prior to Christmas (6, 13 and 20 December) and from 5.30pm to midnight every Thursday (3, 10 and 17 December). Tickets will be valid only for the operator from whom they are purchased (T&Cs apply)
Meanwhile, BCP Council is offering car users a series of free parking offers across the conurbation: on both Thursday evenings and Sundays in the main town centre car parks, and within other districts on Saturday afternoons. Free parking will be available as follows:
Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Town Centres:
- Thursdays 3, 10, 17 and 24 December, 4pm to 10pm
- Sundays 6, 13 and 20 December, 10am to 6pm.
District car parks - Boscombe; Southbourne; Westbourne; Winton; Highcliffe; Ashley Road, Poole; Broadstone; Penn Hill, Poole; Canford Cliffs and Ashley Cross:
- Saturdays only, 5, 12 and 19 December, Midday to 6pm.
The free parking days and locations have been chosen following discussions with local business organisations in order to maximise the benefits for both residents and businesses. The specific car parks included in this scheme can be found below and online at www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/latestnews.
To ensure car parks can be used safely, contactless payment methods are available in almost all of these facilities and anyone queuing should stay two metres apart. Face coverings are mandatory in all multi-story car parks.
Initiated by BCP Council, the travel offering complements its recent ‘Rediscover Safely’ campaign, which encourages local residents to make an active choice to shop and spend locally to help Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s businesses to thrive. This continues the council’s strategy of creating dynamic places and an innovative, successful economy in a great place to live, learn, work and visit.
Councillor Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability at BCP Council, said:
“We know how difficult the year has been for local businesses and how hard they’ve worked, with our continued support, to make our high streets Covid-secure. Our high streets are the heart of our community and this shows our commitment to them by offering residents free parking opportunities and, for the first time, a consistent discount from both bus operators to ensure that this year’s Christmas offering has something for everyone, not only for those who drive.”
Nikki Honer of Morebus added: “This has been a challenging year but our team has worked hard, transporting key workers across the region throughout both lockdowns. We’ve also introduced even more stringent cleaning regimes on our buses to make sure customers can travel with us safely. We’re delighted to be offering our customers the chance to travel together at a much discounted rate as part of this excellent initiative.”
David Squire, MD of Yellow Buses said, “We are pleased to support our local communities by offering a discounted group ticket, to allow customers to shop and socialise safely in the run up to Christmas, we would like to reassure our customers that they can continue to travel safely with us and we continue to operate a full bus network across all of our routes”.
Additional quotes from supporters:
Paul Kinvig, Chief Operating Officer for Bournemouth Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID), said:
“It’s vital, as we come out of lockdown, that residents & visitors support businesses in the town centre. Any parking incentive, however limited, will help the hard pressed traders at this key time. I’d encourage people to come into Bournemouth, celebrate Christmas & take advantage of these travel incentives – we look forward to seeing you”
Steve Reilly of Poole BID, said:
“We welcome this initiative to support businesses in December by encouraging shoppers to shop local. The offer by Morebus and Yellow Buses provides an opportunity for people to combine shopping with hospitality without the concern of driving.”
Andrew Barfield, President of Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said:
“The second lockdown was obviously a blow to our businesses but they have worked incredibly hard to ensure they are Covid-secure and will be more than ready to welcome shoppers back this December. We’re pleased that the council and bus companies have coordinated their efforts to ensure that both car and bus users have even more incentive to enjoy the lovely shopping experience that Christchurch provides.”
Fiona McArthur, BID Manager of Coastal BID, said:
"We’ve been lobbying on behalf of businesses throughout the pandemic and are really pleased to see that BCP Council have listened to our requests for free parking in the lead up to Christmas. This and the Rediscover Safely campaign should make a real difference to traders. We would urge local people to look to local businesses before shopping further afield. They need us to pull together in supporting them so that we can all look forward to a full recovery."
Town Centre car parks included in the Thursday/Sunday promotion are as follows:
Braidley Road Bridge
Town Hall Forecourt
Town Hall Extension
Town Hall Annexe
Shoppers 1 and 2
Dear Hay Lane
District car parks included in the Saturday promotion are as follows:
Boscombe: Hawkwood Road Main, 1 & 2
Southbourne: Woodside Road car park
Westbourne: Milburn Road, Landseer Road and Alumhurst Road car parks
Winton: Leslie Road and Cramner Road car parks
Ashley Road, Poole Albert Road, Jubilee Road and Norrish Road car parks
Broadstone: Station Approach and Story Lane car parks
Poole: Penn Hill car park
Canford Cliffs: Ravine Road car park
Ashley Cross: Commercial Road car park
Highcliffe: Wortley Road Car Park in Highcliffe