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Free Parking For Christmas Shoppers

Free parking and the return of the popular Park and Ride service will make Christmas shopping even easier in Poole this festive season.

Residents and visitors shopping in Poole can enjoy free parking in all town centre car parks, courtesy of Borough of Poole, on the run-up to Christmas:

* every Sunday between 10am and 6pm from Sunday 23 November until Sunday 21 December 2014.
* Thursday nights between 6pm and 9pm from Thursday 27 November until Thursday 18 December.

People shopping in Broadstone, Ashley Road, Penn Hill, Ashley Cross and Canford Cliffs can also benefit from free parking in district car parks from noon until 6pm on the three Saturdays before Christmas - 6, 13 and 20 December.

Alternatively, for those who want to beat the rush and miss the queues, the council's Park and Ride service will be FREE this year, running from Creekmoor every Saturday from 29 November until Christmas.

This is a special promotion to support the Small Business Saturday initiative, which encourages all shoppers to buy locally especially in the run-up to Christmas.

The service will leave the Creekmoor Park and Ride site every 15 minutes from 8am until 6pm on 29 November, 6, 13 and 20 December. The service drops passengers within easy reach of the shops at the entrance to Falkland Square, where they can then board the bus back to Creekmoor every 15 minutes from 8.15am until 6.15pm.

First Buses will be providing super low floor buses making it even easier for wheelchair users and parents with buggies to get on board.

Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for a Prosperous and Sustainable Poole, Borough of Poole, said: "We are committed to supporting our local small businesses and independent traders as they not only provide an exciting and sometimes different shopping experience for customers, but they also play a vital role in maintaining a strong and vibrant local economy.

"By supporting the Small Business Saturday initiative together with providing free car parking and Park and Ride will, I'm sure, provide a welcome boost to local traders at one of their busiest times of the year."

Councillor Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer people who shop in Poole these opportunities and are sure shoppers and businesses will welcome the benefits that these offers provide at this time of year."

Simon Newport, General Manager, First Wessex, said: "We are delighted to have retained the contract to run the Park & Ride buses in Poole up to and over the Christmas period. The response from local shoppers last year was very positive and we hope they will continue to see the bus as the most convenient and reliable way of getting into Poole to do all their festive shopping."  

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