Out-of-town parking offered to commuters

Highwayman Inn, Near Cheltenham Image copyright Google
Image caption Ian Blake, from the Highwayman Inn on the A417, said it seemed like a "win win situation for everyone"

Commuters struggling to find parking near work are being offered a new car-sharing scheme in Gloucestershire.

En Route Parking links commuters wanting to head into Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester with spare parking at out-of-town businesses.

Workers are encouraged to drop their cars outside of town and car share the final leg of their journey.

Kate Vidgen, who came up with the idea, said it avoids "that frustrating early morning battle for a parking space".

The scheme hopes to offer commuters a network of car parks near "major employment areas" which are not normally used during office hours.

Ms Vidgen, said workers can "meet colleagues or friends, leave their cars and continue their journey in one car".

"I know local business owners are trying their best to solve the parking problems through schemes like car-sharing, cycling or walking to work but there simply isn't the uptake and there aren't enough car parking spaces for everyone," she said.

Trade benefits

A number of businesses, including Cheltenham and Cirencester Town football clubs, as well as pubs and a farm, have already signed-up to the scheme.

Ian Blake, from the Highwayman Inn on the A417, said it seemed like a "win win situation for everyone".

"Much of our car park stands empty during office hours and yet we watch the traffic head past us on the way to and from Cirencester, Monday to Friday," he said.

Dev Chakraborty, from GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, said local businesses on the outskirts would "see the benefits of weekly trade".

"It might even inspire some of them to diversify to meet the commuters' demand and in turn, grow their business," he added.

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