FREE parking will be offered across the BCP area in the Christmas run-up.

The measure is hoped to provide a much-needed boost to town centre businesses reeling from lockdown lost trade.

When will they be free?

Free Thursday and Sunday parking in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch town centres will be on the December 3, 10, 17 and Christmas Eve, 4pm to 10pm as well as Sundays 6, 13 and 20, 10am to 6pm.

Parking will also be free at other district car parks on Saturday afternoons.

District car parks where free Saturday parking will be available, from midday to 6pm on December 5, 12 and 19, include Boscombe, Southbourne, Westbourne, Winton, Highcliffe, Ashley Road in Poole, Broadstone, Penn Hill in Poole, Canford Cliffs and Ashley Cross.

The free parking days and locations have been chosen following discussions with local business organisations in order to maximise the benefits for both residents and businesses, says the council.

Where will they be free?

Town Centre car parks included in the Thursday/Sunday promotion are as follows:


  • Richmond Gardens
  • Eden Glen
  • Bournemouth Central
  • Richmond Hill
  • Winter Garden
  • Braidley Road Bridge
  • West Hill
  • Town Hall Forecourt
  • Town Hall Extension
  • Town Hall Annexe
  • Avenue Road


  • By Pass
  • Bargates
  • Leisure Centre
  • Bridge Street
  • Saxon Square
  • Christchurch Quay
  • Priory
  • Wick Lane
  • Bank Close
  • Pit Site
  • Mayor’s Mead


  • Dolphin Centre
  • High Street
  • Quay Visitors
  • Shoppers 1 and 2
  • Chapel Lane
  • New Orchard
  • Prosperous Street
  • Seldown
  • Swimming Pool
  • Serpentine Lane
  • Serpentine Road
  • Dear Hay Lane


District car parks

  • Boscombe: Hawkwood Road Main, 1 & 2
  • Southbourne: Woodside Road car park
  • Westbourne: Milburn Road, Landseer Road and Alumhurst Road car parks
  • Winton: Leslie Road and Cramner Road car parks
  • Ashley Road, Poole Albert Road, Jubilee Road and Norrish Road car parks
  • Broadstone: Station Approach and Story Lane car parks
  • Poole: Penn Hill car park
  • Canford Cliffs: Ravine Road car park
  • Ashley Cross: Commercial Road car park
  • Highcliffe: Wortley Road Car Park in Highcliffe

Why is this happening?

Councillor Mike Greene, portfolio holder for transport and sustainability at BCP Council, said: “We know how difficult the year has been for local businesses and how hard they’ve worked, with our continued support, to make our high streets Covid-secure.

"Our high streets are the heart of our community and this shows our commitment to them by offering residents free parking opportunities and, for the first time, a consistent discount from both bus operators to ensure that this year’s Christmas offering has something for everyone, not only for those who drive.”

What else is being done?

Passengers travelling on Yellow Buses and Morebus are also set to benefit from festive discounts.

A ticket will be available permitting two to five people to travel together on any number of journeys in the conurbation for £5 – a saving of £7 on the normal price.

The discounted tickets, purchased from the driver, will be available throughout the day each Sunday prior to Christmas (December 6, 13, 20) and from 5.30pm to midnight every Thursday (December 3, 10 and 17).

Why you're being encouraged to shop in the town centres this Christmas

Paul Kinvig, chief operating officer for Bournemouth Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It is vital, as we come out of lockdown, that residents and visitors support businesses in the town centre.

"Any parking incentive, however limited, will help the hard pressed traders at this key time. I’d encourage people to come into Bournemouth, celebrate Christmas and take advantage of these travel incentives – we look forward to seeing you.”

Meanwhile, Steve Reilly of Poole BID, said: “We welcome this initiative to support businesses in December by encouraging shoppers to shop local. The offer by Morebus and Yellow Buses provides an opportunity for people to combine shopping with hospitality without the concern of driving.”

President of Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce president Andrew Barfield said: “The second lockdown was obviously a blow to our businesses but they have worked incredibly hard to ensure they are Covid-secure and will be more than ready to welcome shoppers back this December.

"We’re pleased that the council and bus companies have coordinated their efforts to ensure that both car and bus users have even more incentive to enjoy the lovely shopping experience that Christchurch provides.”