The beautiful picturesque market town of Saffron Walden not only attracts local shoppers to its diverse shops and quaint coffee shops but also tourists, so trying to find a parking space in the town can prove to be difficult, even in the winter months.
Uttlesford District council has considered this problem and they are going to introduce a free temporary park and ride facility for shoppers. If it's approved they will operate the service every Saturday from Saffron Walden County High school, where there is ample space for car parking.
The parking problem in Saffron Walden has been accentuated by the closure of the 294-space car park at Fairycroft due to the expansion of Waitrose.
The plan is to create 101 space Gold Zone car park, which will be available to the public on Saturdays between 9am-3pm. Where a taxi minibus will shuttle shoppers from the car park to a temporary drop off point over the next six months period, until the completion of the Fairycroft new car park.
Cllr Howard Rolfe, leader of Uttlesford District Council, told the Herts and Essex Observer that: 'Swan Meadow car park has sufficient capacity to accommodate displaced parking demand on most days of the week - but it is important that we provide the additional capacity, should it be needed, on Saturdays for shoppers, visitors and other people with businesses in the town centre.'
'The park and ride scheme will provide extra capacity. We are pleased to be working with the county high on this project and are grateful to the school for its support.'
There will also be another 40 spaces created in the Swan Meadow car park. Waitrose is also operating its own complimentary shuttle bus between Swan Meadow and a temporary pick up point on Hill Street.
It's great to see that Uttlesford District Council have also taken on cashless pay and display parking, if you are using it for the first time this is what you will need to do:
Send an SMS to 60300 with the word PARK and your vehicle registration number.
For example: PARK T123EST
Their automated system will call you back for the following information.
* Car park location number
* Your payment card details
If at anytime you have difficulty with the process, stay on the phone. You will be transferred to one of their MiPermit team that will help you through the remainder of the process.
Once registered, you will be sent a PIN to use with your account. The PIN is only used for logging in to a MiPermit portal, or when using the telephone to create stays when not using your registered mobile phone.
For further information please visit their website at http://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/mipermit
Source: The Herts and Essex Observer