“Thank York It’s Friday” runs every Friday until Christmas, encouraging local people and visitors alike to spend Friday evenings in the city centre.
“This is a scheme driven by local traders and designed to get locals back into the city centre to start their weekend a little earlier. With late night shopping until 7pm – and some stores until 8pm – and opportunities to socialise with friends whilst still taking advantage of the Park & Ride, the last bus to each Park & Ride site now departs at 11pm,” comments Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID. “We know that it takes joined-up thinking to make this kind of initiative happen, which is why we’ve worked so closely with First York and City of York Council to make York Retail Forum’s idea come to life.”
Key retail outlets have already confirmed that they will open until 7pm on Friday evenings, including Brown’s, Marks & Spencer, Next, Primark, TK Maxx, Whittards and WH Smith, the additional opening until 8pm at Debenhams, Crabtree & Evelyn, Love Cheese, Lush and Pavers Shoes. More retailers are expected to follow suit in the run-up to Christmas.
The late night Park & Ride will initially be subsidised by York BID, though it is hoped that the number of additional people making use of the service in the coming months will enable it to be self-sustaining in the longer term.
Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director at First York, said, “We’re proud to operate one of the most successful Park & Ride sites in the country, which helps save customers the hassle and cost of parking in York with just a short bus trip to and from the city. We’re excited to be working with other local partners to develop the Park & Ride service and to offer later trips for customers wanting to spend more time in the city, or for those travelling back into York via train, wanting access to their car for their onward journey.”