AS THE countdown to Christmas is well underway and the city centre is getting more crowded, the council has extended its Park and Ride service to help festive shoppers.

This festive season Cheshire West and Chester Council is encouraging visitors to the city centre to hop aboard the Park & Ride.

The service is designed to cut traffic queues by sailing into the city in dedicated bus lanes and passengers can hop off at a variety of cross-city stops.

Every Thursday evening from November 16, the last bus back to the four Park & Ride sites will be just after 9pm, rather than 7pm. This aims to help visitors to take advantage of late night Christmas shopping in the city.

And, for the whole of the last shopping week before Christmas, from Monday, December 18, until Friday, December 22, the last bus will also be approximately 9pm. Exact timings for each route are on the council’s website.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “If you’re thinking of coming to the Christmas Lights Switch On event on November 16, please consider using the Park & Ride.  You won't have to worry about trying to find a car parking space or getting caught in a queue and the buses run every 12 minutes, so you won't be left hanging around. 

“You’ll also be doing your bit to cut Christmas congestion as queues build during the busy build up to the festive season.  Every Park & Ride bus has USB charging, free wifi and comfy premium seating. The buses are frequent and have the very latest enviro-clear engines – so you’ll be saving the planet too.  It’s just £2 for a return ticket and you can hop on and off all day.”

If children need to travel too, when the schools break up, two children (under 16) travel free with an adult.

More information, timetables and routes are available on the council's website at