INDEPENDENT retailers in an iconic shopping street in Bournemouth will pay for customers’ parking to bring more people into the town.

Shoppers at independent stores along Westover Road can have their car parking costs covered by the shops when they purchase from the retailers, for up to two hours.

Customers who park and then buy items in the shops will have the price of parking taken from their receipt.

The production of the leaflets and stickers were backed by Bournemouth Town Centre BID.

Keith McNicol, from Richmond Classics, said: “This has come about because the council haven’t done what we wanted to do, so we’ve had to do it ourselves.

“The reason for this is to try and bring people back into the town, and not have the excuse of them not coming into the town."

Bournemouth Echo:

Calvin Smith, from Westover Gallery, added that the retailers had been successful in their campaign to get public parking back on the side of the road with the shops.

“We have also managed to free up the entire street, so there’s free parking [when you purchase] now right the way down the whole of Westover Road as part of this new programme with retailers,” Calvin said.

“The exciting thing that is also happening now is the old House of Fraser is having all new retail units underneath as well, which is again another major positive for this area.

“There’s a lot of positivity happening, but we’re driving it, the council need to come up now and support us.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Keith said: “Hopefully it’s the start of the regeneration of the town centre because all we’ve had is negative publicity.

“Vikki Slade has done nothing to assist us whatsoever, she promised the world and given us nothing so we’ve done it ourselves, as simple as that.

“Westover Road was the Bond Street of Bournemouth and needs to come back to be the centre of Bournemouth.”

Bournemouth Echo:

The retailers in the road will pay for customer parking for a maximum of two hours.

A full list of the retailers involved in the initiative is: Clarendon Fine Art, Franses Jewellers, Roberta Boutique, Richmond Classics, Westover Gallery, Caters, Alfa Menswear, Matthew’s Jewellers, Funki Griller, Bournemouth Pawn and Robert Old 1909.

Councillor Vikki Slade, leader of the council said: “Like many high streets across the country it’s great to see the traders on Westover Road working together to incentivise shoppers into the town centre.

“We are pleased to support and enable this trial and will continue to work in partnership with the business community to improve the town centre for everyone.”