Hundreds rather than thousands used park and ride in Christmas trial

The park and ride was used by shoppers for a fortnight in the build up to Christmas
The park and ride was used by shoppers for a fortnight in the build up to Christmas

Hundreds of members of the public, rather than thousands, took up a trial to use the University of Northampton park and ride scheme over Christmas - but the council leader is open to running it again.

To help boost festive footfall, Northampton Borough Council, the University of Northampton and Uno Buses trialled a timetable where shoppers could use the park and ride for £1 in the fortnight leading up to Christmas Day.

The service runs from the car parks between Sixfields and Franklin’s Gardens on Edgar Mobbs Way, but is normally only open to University staff, students or visitors, and some county council staff.

The buses ran until 10.30pm every day, and NBC leader Councillor Jonathan Nunn said the scheme provided ‘excellent value for money’ to commuters in the build-up to the trial run.

Now, writing in his latest monthly report to full council, he gave an update on how the scheme went, though stopped short of providing detailed figures.

He wrote: “As a short test, the numbers that used the service were in the hundreds rather than in the thousands, but given that new park and rides normally require sustained promotion and advertising, the test seems to show that there is a potential demand.”

That 'potential demand' leaves open the possibility of the scheme being repeated, with Councillor Nunn adding: “At times of peak town centre traffic, this should become a key part of the town’s transport mix giving visitors an attractive, alternative option to bringing their vehicle right into the town centre.”