This December, Thanet District Council is encouraging people to shop safely and support the small business community by shopping locally. In a bid to give town centres a boost, on the two Saturdays leading up to Christmas (Saturdays 12 and 19 December) there will be free parking at three car parks in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
The car parks are:
- Market Street car park in Margate
- Crofts Place car park in Broadstairs
- Royal Harbour car park in Ramsgate
This is in addition to the year-round free parking on Saturdays already offered at the following locations across the district:
- Mill Lane Car Park – Margate
- Harold Road Car Park – Cliftonville
- St Peter’s Park Road Car Park – Broadstairs
- Cannon Road Car Park – Ramsgate
In Birchington there is an additional 30 minutes free parking to holders of a valid pay and display ticket on the high street – this offer runs until 31 December 2020.
Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council said:
“We know that our local businesses have had a tough year, encouraging people to shop locally is one way to help. “Thanet’s towns are full of independent shops, offering a wide selection of gift ideas, often made locally by local people. It’s a great way to support the local economy and you’ll also be making a huge difference to a local business.
“Local businesses have made a huge effort to create safe, COVID-secure environments, we’ve got our COVID-19 Street Wardens out daily providing reassurance and reminders of the rules. The number of COVID-19 cases in Thanet remains high so it’s still really important to remember to keep our distance, wear face-coverings and maintain good hand hygiene. We also need to stick to the rules about mixing households – tempting as it is to meet up with friends at what’s usually a sociable period of time – reducing the spread of coronavirus has to be the priority.
“We want people to feel that they can come out and get what they need. Offering these two additional dates with more free parking is something we can do as a council to facilitate that.
“The message to our residents is that if you are going to do Christmas shopping then please shop safely, and if you can, shop locally – this year in particular, your purchases will potentially help keep our local businesses going.”
Thanet District Council has a range of measures in place to support local businesses and ensure they are opening safely and adhering to the latest regulations. Businesses are invited to join the dedicated Facebook Group – a go-to online community, for more information.
The COVID-19 Street Wardens patrol the town centres and high footfall shopping areas daily, 9am to 6pm and are there specifically to proactively help to manage pedestrian flow and queues, encourage people to adhere to social distancing, and remind them of the need to wear face coverings in stores, unless exempt.
Information on all Thanet District Council’s car parks can be found online: https://www.thanet.gov.uk/car-park-charges/