Festive free parking bonus in Worthing as traders braced for sales rush

W50606H12 WH WORTHING CRISTMAS LIGHTS PIC S.G. 07.12.2012''Worthing Christmas Lights Warwick Street ENGSUS00120120712115537
W50606H12 WH WORTHING CRISTMAS LIGHTS PIC S.G. 07.12.2012''Worthing Christmas Lights Warwick Street ENGSUS00120120712115537

TRADERS will be hoping free parking over the festive period will entice shoppers as the post-Christmas sales begin.

Worthing Borough Council has agreed not to charge visitors using the town centre multi-storey car parks on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Cabinet member for environment Clive Roberts said: “When you are stuffed full of Christmas food and need some fresh air, allow the kids to spend some of their Christmas pennies and come down into town and park, for free.

“Yes, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day parking in all the multi-storeys is absolutely free.

“Festive greetings from me and the Worthing Borough car parks team.”

In the run-up to Christmas, footfall in the town centre has been slightly down on last year at peak periods.

But town centre manager Sharon Clarke said this contrasted with a strong November, suggesting shoppers were spreading the cost of Christmas across two paydays.

She said: “Footfall is a little bit down on last year. It’s about 1,000 less at the peak periods.

“Last year we were on about 24,000, this year is about 23,000 but we had a busy November, which was one per cent up, so I think people had planned and started shopping earlier this year.

“People are buying and shops have reported good sales.”

Despite town centres having to compete with online sales, some of which started before Christmas Day this year, Mrs Clarke is still confident the town will be busy come Boxing Day.

She said; “People like to come out for the sales. It is a tradition and although some of the sales started early and some are online already, there is certainly going to be a lot of bargains on Boxing Day and people will want to see what is there.”