A unique Park and Stride scheme launches in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend thanks to a ground-breaking deal between Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) and the team that run Stratford Hospital’s car park.

People who work in Stratford, and visitors, will benefit from cheap weekend and Bank Holiday car parking thanks to the new partnership that allows them to park on the town’s brand new £22million hospital site, just yards from railway station, and only a five minute walk from the town centre.

The deal will allow people to park in the 205-space secure multi-storey car park for just £2.50 a day. The scheme will operate on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays and starts this weekend – just in time for half term.

Joe Baconnet, Director of Stratforward BID, said: “This is a win-win for everyone involved. Staff who work in businesses in Stratford struggle to find centrally-located parking and even if they do it is often felt to be unaffordable. This is particularly the case for staff who only work at weekends when Stratford is usually at its busiest.

“Add this to our existing arrangement with NCP for their car park in Rother Street, where registered staff can park for £3.70 a day, and the Stratford Park and Ride scheme and we now have a variety of discounted offerings available to them. Over the year these schemes can save an individual hundreds of pounds.”

He added: “Hopefully the knock-on effect of staff using this car park at weekends will be that more town centre car parking spaces will be made available for visitors to the town, so generating more income for individual businesses. It should also help reduce waiting times and queues for town centre car parks, in turn reducing congestion which will hopefully reduce emissions and help the environment.

“The other major plus is that this will see monies going direct into the coffers of a local health-related business. There is also a more obvious health benefit – by parking here people will have a stroll into town, and we all know that even the shortest amount of physical exercise is beneficial to our wellbeing.”

He went on: “At a time of increasing change in the high street, pressure on people’s finances and concern about the nations health, we cannot think of a better way to bring a positive outcome all round.”

The scheme is the result of a deal between Stratforward and SWFT Clinical Services Ltd, which owns and manages Stratford Hospital.

Samantha Macdonald, Marketing Manager at SWFT Clinical Services Ltd, said: “This is extremely good news. Obviously Stratford Hospital is very much in the heart of Stratford and with it being an centrally located facility we are always very keen to be able to support the wider community. Our downtime is often the busiest time for visitors and staff so it makes sense to utilise our facilities for the benefit of everyone involved.”

John Coyne, Managing Director at SWFT Clinical Services, added: “Parking is at a premium in the town and more and more people are having to park further away so we think this is a great solution. Obviously when you look at the proximity to the main town it’s not too far at all.”

He said while the hospital does have some 24-hour services, the times that the deal is available coincides with periods the car park would be under-used.

“We have always approached car parking rates as competitively as possible. Clearly sometimes car parking chargers garners a negative response – but with this approach all parties can benefit.”

The Stratford Hospital car park is accessible from Arden Street. It is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is covered by CCTV.

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