Thank York It’s Friday! City shops and Park & Ride stay open late

Phil Pinder of York Retail Forum, Cllr Peter Dew, Andrew Lowson of York BID and First York's Marc Bichtemann. Photograph: David Lindsay
12 Sep 2018 @ 8.44 am
| Business, Shopping, Transport

Evening all! York is going to stay open later every Friday in the run up to Christmas thanks to a major new initiative.

First York and city shops are key partners in Thank York It’s Friday.

This will see retailers staying open later, and all Park & Ride services running till 11pm, every Friday until Christmas.

It is a joint programme put together by York BID (Business Improvement District), First York, City of York Council and York Retail Forum.

“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,” said Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID.

Great start to the weekend

Shop till late every Friday
Late night shopping till 7pm – and some stores until 8pm – will allow residents and families to shop and socialise at the start of the weekend.

Then they can catch a bus home as the last bus to each Park & Ride site now departs at 11pm. Andrew added:

  • 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.

Phil Pinder of York Retail Forum thinks Thank York It’s Friday could encourage many people who work in the city to spend Friday evenings after work shopping and socialising.

Locals and visitors were looking for things to do during the end of the working day, but before they are ready to eat out. He said:

  • Thank York It’s Friday means that the city centre can rival the out-of-town late night shopping offering, whilst offering more opportunities for dining out in the many central restaurants.

    Anyone working in the city who has used the Park & Ride for their morning commute, can now fit in some ‘Friday Feeling’ retail therapy before a visit to the theatre or cinema – and still collect their car.

    What a great way to start the weekend!

Retail outlets signed up so far

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Key retail outlets have already confirmed that they will open until 7pm on Friday evenings, including

Marks & Spencer
TK Maxx
WH Smith

And these shops will open till 8pm

Crabtree & Evelyn
Love Cheese
Pavers Shoes

More retailers are expected to follow suit in the run-up to Christmas.

Park & Ride plans

The late night Park & Ride will initially be subsidised by York BID.

But 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.

MD at First York Marc Bichtemann 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.

Park & Ride buses at Monks Cross. Photograph: YorkMix

Thank York It’s Friday also has the council’s backing. Economic development lead Cllr Keith Aspden, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Community Engagement, said: “It’s pleasing to see so many partners working together in this way to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy our city centre and its many attractions for longer in the evenings.”

And council leader Ian Gillies, Leader of City of York Council called it “a welcome boost for York’s evening economy”.