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Latest News

People urged to support local traders in the Vale and South Oxfordshire as councils confirm free parking days in the run up to Christmas

People in the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire can park for free on specific days this December and are being urged to use this opportunity to support their local shops and cafes in the run up to Christmas.

Each year Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils provide free parking days during December to help encourage people to shop locally for their Christmas presents.

With many shops affected by the Covid-19 restrictions, this year it is particularly important that people support local traders where they can, while maintaining social distancing and face covering requirements. More »

Councillor Andrew Crawford, Cabinet Member Finance and Corporate Assets at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: "Local traders are a vital part of our community, providing high quality, important goods, services and jobs for residents and visitors, as well as providing a friendly face to talk to for many people.

"The Coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on across our local economy and so I really hope that people will take advantage of the free parking days and free periods offered each day to support our local businesses in the run up to Christmas."

Cllr David Rouane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: "We provide free parking as a way of encouraging people to shop locally for their Christmas presents. This year it seems particularly important for people to do that in order to help independent traders who have been badly hit by the recent restrictions.

"Many of those who have been affected will be your friends and neighbours, as well as individuals who are familiar and friendly faces when visiting our town centres. As a community we really have a shared responsibility to look after each other and help to ensure that their businesses survive through this current period and then thrive once again after the pandemic is over."

Motorists can park in district council car parks without paying for or displaying a ticket on the following days in December:

  • Abingdon – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  • Faringdon – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  • Wantage – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  • Didcot – Mondays (7, 14, 21 December)
  • Goring – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  • Henley – Tuesdays (8, 15, 22 December)
  • Thame – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  • Wallingford -Thursdays (10, 17, 24 December)
Users will not have to display a ticket on the free days.

Motorists can also continue to park for free each day outside of the charging period and during the standard free periods offered by both councils, but must they display a ticket during this time.

For more information about parking and district council car parks please visit – whitehorsedc.gov.uk/parking / southoxon.gov.uk/parking

The above arrangements are subject to any change in national or local Covid-19 restrictions.

CommunicationsSouth Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils01235 422400www.southoxon.gov.uk | @southoxonwww.whitehorsedc.gov.uk | @whitehorsedc » Less

Posted: Tue, 01 Dec 2020 10:05 by Joanne Myers

Free parking at Oxford’s park and rides during Christmas period

Read the story on the OCC website here or below:

Shoppers and people planning to support hospitality businesses in the run-up to Christmas are being encouraged to do so safely and avoid the busiest times.

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council are providing free parking at Oxford's five park and ride sites from Saturday 5 December until Sunday 27 December, to support businesses and help reduce congestion. The councils are also asking people who plan to use the service to travel outside peak times if possible. More »

Councillor Liam Walker, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways Delivery and Operations, said: "I'm really pleased we've been able to work closely with Oxford City Council to reintroduce free parking at our park and ride sites. Having this in place proved really popular in August to support the Eat Out To Help Out scheme and it makes sense for us to do the same now to support jobs and local businesses across Oxford during a busy period ahead of Christmas.

"We are keen to play our part in helping to reduce congestion in the city centre during peak times and we have recently been working closely with the Westgate Centre to help achieve this and we will be putting measures in place, which will now be complemented with free parking at the park and ride sites.

"Ultimately, we want everyone to be able to travel around safely, enjoy their visiting experience, and reduce the congestion on our roads and this is a great way to help achieve this. We urge all those planning to visit Oxford over the next few weeks to take advantage of this festive gift from both councils."

Oxfordshire will be in the high alert level (tier 2) from Wednesday 2 December, when lockdown ends. The government has updated its safe travel advice, including for those walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport. You can read the latest advice online.

Oxford Bus Company, which operates services from the five park and ride sites – Pear Tree, Redbridge, Seacourt, Thornhill and Oxford Parkwa­y – is supporting the initiative by running a '£4.80 per car maximum charge' promotion. This will mean that any more than two adults in the same car will get their bus journey for free. Children will go for free too.

By making parking free all week at all five sites, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council also aim to reduce peak-time congestion on routes into the city and around city centre car parks.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council's Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: "With Oxford now entering tier 2 restrictions, we are encouraging people who plan to shop here or support our hospitality businesses to think carefully about the best times to do so. Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council, working together, have made parking at our five park and ride sites free from 5 to 27 December inclusive to help people to do that.

"We know people are determined to get behind our local businesses at this incredibly difficult time, and this initiative is a way they can get into the city centre easily, safely, and sustainably by bus or by walking or cycling. Free park and ride parking will also help to unblock Oxford's congested roads at what are proving to be the busiest times."

Park and ride sites are also a good stopping off place to cycle or walk into Oxford. Visitors can get on a bus and head into the city centre, or visit Summertown, Jericho, Headington, Cowley Road, or other nearby shops and hospitality venues. » Less

Posted: Tue, 01 Dec 2020 10:02 by Joanne Myers

Guidance for the Christmas period

Guidance for the Christmas period

The Government published guidance for the Christmas period in England. From 2 December to 23 December, local restrictions in the tier in which you are staying should be followed.

From 23 December to 27 December, you may choose to form a Christmas bubble which allows you to spend time together in private homes, to attend places of worship, or meet in a public outdoor place. From 28 December, you must follow the guidance for the tier in your area and Christmas bubbles will no longer apply. More »

Posted: Tue, 01 Dec 2020 09:57 by Joanne Myers