Cut price car parking in battle for shoppers

AN ESSEX town is to take on its retail rivals by offering visitors a series of cut-price deals for car parking.

Roddy Ashworth

AN ESSEX town is to take on its retail rivals by offering visitors a series of cut-price deals for car parking.

As of this week, people driving into Colchester can benefit from cheaper charges to leave their vehicles in the town while shopping, visiting or even working.

The range of knock-down prices were formulated to help encourage people to choose Colchester to visit ahead of other towns such as Ipswich, Braintree or Chelmsford.

It has been introduced by the Colchester Borough Council after consultation with local businesses and retailers.

The deals are aimed at:

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* shoppers - with a special �2 parking offer between 10am and 3pm in four car parks, potentially saving up to �4.90

* evening leisure users - with a special �2 parking offer after 3pm on weekdays to encourage people to take in a meal before going to the cinema or theatre, potentially saving up to �8

* visitors staying in the town - with a special �10 deal for 60 hours parking

* residents - those who work in the town centre will benefit from a special early-bird all-day parking deal of �2.90 in Butt Road car park if they arrive before 8am, potentially saving �4

The project is the result of a “Choose Colchester” partnership between the borough council's Parking Services team and a variety of town centre leisure and retail businesses.

The partnership includes Lion Walk, the Colchester Retail Businesses Association (CoRBA), Odeon Colchester, Page Media Group, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Essex Chamber of Commerce.

Councillor Tim Young, the council's portfolio holder for streets, said: “In keeping with the council's aim to encourage people to 'Buy Local', now is the right time to be considering extending our parking offers to help local people and businesses alike.

“There are many reasons for people to come to Colchester and we all want them to get the best out of their trip by staying longer and doing more.

“Searching for cheaper car parking should not be a major hurdle in terms of price or time and that is the focus for the work of this group.”

Michelle Reynolds, chair of CoRBA, said: “We are extremely pleased with the new pricing structures and sincerely hope that the people will be encouraged to buy into 'Choose Colchester' rather than other destinations to shop and enjoy.

“The arrangements offer something for everyone and we look forward to the town being busy.”

Full details can be found on the council's website at