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Big boost for small business as Park and Ride is free for first Saturday in December

9 November 2016

Businesses in Chelmsford and Colchester have been given a big boost after Essex County Council announced free travel on all of the county’s Park and Ride buses for Small Business Saturday.

Residents are being urged to take advantage of the gesture which aims to boost trade for local shops and small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of a national push for high street traders ahead of Christmas.

Shoppers will be allowed unlimited free travel on Saturday, 3 December when they park up at Sandon, Chelmer Valley and Colchester Park and Ride sites.

Special deals and discounts will also be on offer to shoppers across Essex on the day as part of Small Business Saturday.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, said:

“Essex businesses offer a whole host of unique products and quirky gifts to inspire those stuck for Christmas shopping ideas.
“We know December can be an expensive time of year so we wanted to make it as simple and cheap as possible for shoppers to get out and see what Essex businesses have to offer.

“I would encourage shoppers and small businesses to get involved in this year’s Small Business Saturday to show that Essex Means Business.”

Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “One of the key aims of Park and Ride is to reduce congestion to make our towns and cities attractive places to work and shop.

“Town and city centres can get very busy this time of year – so what better way to avoid the car park queues than by trying out the Park and Ride for free.

“Buses run throughout Saturday allowing a simple and stress-free Christmas shopping trip.”

Small Business Saturday started in 2012 and is a day to celebrate and support small businesses in the community. As part of the day, businesses across Essex are being encouraged to offer special deals and discounts to customers who get out and about in Essex on the day.

To find out more about Small Business Saturday and for ideas and resources on how to get involved and make the most of the day, visit

Sandon and Chelmer Valley Park and Ride services run a regular service into and out of Chelmsford city centre from approximately 7am until 8pm on Saturdays.

Colchester Park and Ride offers a reliable service into the town centre from 7am and 6.45pm on Saturdays.

Find out more about Park and Ride timetables and routes at