Free car park plan for South Oxfordshire decision due

Council car parks in South Oxfordshire could become free on Saturday afternoons if a proposal is agreed by the district council.

The plan - aimed at improving footfall in the district's shopping areas - will be put to the vote later.

The authority says the move would cost about £60,000 a year in lost revenue.

Councillors are also considering halving the price of car park season tickets in Didcot, Goring, Henley, Thame and Wallingford.

Under the plans, parking would be free in all council car parks after 14:00 on Saturdays from April.

A spokesman said: "The introduction of half-price season tickets, and free Saturday afternoon parking, is designed not only to reward and give a financial boost to those who make a significant contribution to the South Oxfordshire economy through working in the district, but also to encourage people to shop locally, especially on a Saturday afternoon."

The council also wants to offer free parking on 4 and 5 June for people attending celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The council's cabinet is due to meet later to vote on the proposals which, if approved, would form part of the authority's 2012/13 budget.

Economy councillor Judith Nimmo-Smith said: "Cutting the cost of parking in this manner will provide a massive boost for those working and living in the area.

"It will mean people will be able to spend less money on parking and more in local shops, which in the current economic climate is absolutely vital."

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