Just the ticket

PUBLISHED: 15:03 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 May 2010

MONEY BACK: Mike Gowan hoping scheme will attract shoppers.

MONEY BACK: Mike Gowan hoping scheme will attract shoppers.

FREE parking will be available to people visiting Royston as part of a new scheme. More than 30 retailers are expected to join up to the Parking Refund Scheme which hopes to encourage more people to shop in the town. Mike Gowen, organiser of the scheme a

FREE parking will be available to people visiting Royston as part of a new scheme.

More than 30 retailers are expected to join up to the Parking Refund Scheme which hopes to encourage more people to shop in the town.

Mike Gowen, organiser of the scheme and owner of the Stationary Cupboard in the High Street, said: "We want to encourage more people to come into the town and make it easier for people to come shopping.

"The goal is to make it easier for people to park."

All parking machines in Royston will issue a double ticket, with the exception of Somerfield which will continue with its existing parking scheme.

Customers can then use one of the tickets to claim back their first hour of parking, worth up to 50p, by spending £10 in one of the participating shops.

Retailers that have already agreed to participate in the parking refund scheme include Monaco Couture, Beautiful Balloons, Shop on the Corner and Angels & Rascals.

Maggie Kaba, owner of Angels and Rascals, said: "We will definitely be a part of this new scheme, I think it is something everyone will be doing."

Mr Gowen said that a further 21 retailers surveyed indicated they would consider participating once the scheme is up and running.

"The scheme is open to any retailer and hopefully once it has started it will encourage other shops to join in.

"It is a pilot scheme in Royston only and if it is a success then other towns might join."

The Royston & District Chamber of Commerce with North Herts District Council is printing 300,000 tickets.

The chamber will fund one part of the scheme for at least a year while the district council has given its support to the scheme with the second part of the ticket being at zero cost.

The retailers which are par-ticipating in the scheme will be identified by an A5 sticker displayed in shop windows.

There is always competition to take trade away and this is one way to bring people into the town, said Mr Gowan.

"There is a psychological thing about paying 50p to park, especially when you are only popping into town to buy a few things.

"And while there are places such as Tesco offers free parking we have to do something to encourage people to come into the town," he said.

The scheme is set to begin on April 1.

n Any retailers wanting to join the scheme can call Mike Gowen at the Stationary Cupboard on 01763 249997.

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