A week of free parking for Christmas shoppers in Saffron Walden, Stansted and Dunmow

PUBLISHED: 15:36 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 22:03 31 May 2010

SHOPPERS and traders have received an early Christmas present after plans were announced for a week of free parking in Saffron Walden and Stansted. In a bid to boost Christmas shopping in the area, Uttlesford District Council (UDC) will run a free voucher

SHOPPERS and traders have received an early Christmas present after plans were announced for a week of free parking in Saffron Walden and Stansted.

In a bid to boost Christmas shopping in the area, Uttlesford District Council (UDC) will run a free voucher scheme at all of its pay-and-display car parks between Monday November 23 and Saturday November 28.

The parking vouchers will be available to cut out exclusively in next week's edition of the Saffron Walden Reporter.

A council spokesman said: "To support local shops in the run-up to Christmas, UDC will be producing a voucher entitling motorists to free parking in council-run car parks in Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Stansted Mountfitchet.

"The voucher, which will be distributed in the Saffron Walden Reporter and the Dunmow Broadcast, will entitle the bearer to free parking after 3pm on any one day of their choice, including Saturday, for one week.

"UDC is keen to support local businesses and encourage Christmas shoppers to make use of local shops - hopefully this voucher will help us do that."

The participating car parks in Saffron Walden are located at Swan Meadow, the Common, the Rose & Crown and Fairycroft.

In Stansted the car parks are on Lower Street and Crafton Green. There are also four UDC-run car parks in Great Dunmow which can be used.

Businesses in Saffron Walden town centre have welcomed the move, but many have asked for the council to do more in the run-up to Christmas.

Owner of Something Elegant on Market Walk, Richard Ketteridge, said: "This is certainly a step in the right direction, but I would like to see the offer extended to December.

"I am concerned about what impact an empty Woolworths and an empty Eaden Lilley will have on the Christmas shopping this year. The council needs to acknowledge that the town centre doesn't have the same draw without them."

Owner of Abracadabra Teddy Bears on Cross Street, Marsha Davison, said: "A lot of our customers come from out of town. How we get more local people to shop in Saffron Walden, I don't know? Hopefully a parking incentive will help.

"People are now starting to shop with Christmas in mind, but it will not be the manic rush like we have had in previous years.


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