Now party is underway

Dorset Echo: BUSIER: Monkey’s Jump park and ride had over 600 cars in it yesterday compared to less than 200 on Monday BUSIER: Monkey’s Jump park and ride had over 600 cars in it yesterday compared to less than 200 on Monday

A PARK and ride site has axed admission prices in a bid to get more visitors coming to Weymouth and Portland for the Olympics .

And it appears to have paid immediate dividends.

There were more than 600 cars at the site yesterday afternoon while it was virtually deserted over the opening days of the Games.

Dorset’s Olympic Board says the parking charges have been dropped because there haven’t been as many visitors as originally planned for.

The Monkey’s Jump park and ride site at Dorchester was free all day yesterday and today and from tomorrow it will be free every day from 2.30pm.

Free buses will take passengers from the site to the Swannery transport hub in Weymouth.

Joan and Frank Martin from Swindon were among those using the facility yesterday.

Mr Martin said: “We were looking at the Dorset Echo website to see if it was worth coming and we saw that Weymouth was encouraging people to come.

“So we came and we are really looking forward to enjoying the Olympics on the south coast.”

Two other car parks – Preston Beach and Mount Pleasant in Weymouth – will remain subject to the £10 charge throughout the Games, as the main sites serving ticketed spectators A fourth site at Kingston Maurward has been closed and will be kept in reserve in case of additional demand.

Should it open, it will also be free after 2.30pm.

Angus Campbell , chairman of Dorset’s Olympic board, said: “We are doing what we can to encourage people to come to the town. “This reduction of prices for the park-and-ride facilities will, we hope, make it an even better value day out to an Olympic venue and boost numbers accordingly.

“Weymouth has a tremendous amount on offer for visitors and we have had rave reviews from those who have already come to soak up the Olympic atmosphere here.

“We hope to see many more in the coming days as we approach the medal races in the sailing events at the weekend.”

Hugh Sumner, the ODA’s director of transport, said: “We hope our free parking initiative will get thousands of extra visitors in to enjoy the beaches, shops and attr-actions.

“Weymouth and Portland is very definitely open for business but visitors should plan ahead and check before they travel.”

‘The town is getting busier’

Businesses and traders in Weymouth say the town is getting busier.

Margaret Turner, of Seacrest Guesthouse, said: “I’ve noticed a lot more footfall, it has looked busier over the last few days.

“I had a couple of knocks on Tuesday but there hasn’t been much of a difference.

“Hopefully, if the weather gets better then we’ll see an improvement.”

David Harris, who runs a fruit stall on St Mary Street, said there are a lot more people around.

He said: “There’s definitely a lot more people here.

“There do seem to be more people around but business is no better for me.”

Campaign paying off

A CAMPAIGN to get more people to visit the Games in Weymouth and Portland is reaping rewards.

More people were in the borough yesterday following disappointing crowds over the opening days of the sailing events.

A strategy by Olympic organisers and backed by the Echo to encourage more people to experience the Olympics atmosphere is building momentum.

And the borough got the royal seal of approval as the Duke of Edinburgh took to the water to watch the sailing competition.

Dorset County Council leader Angus Campbell said: “The transport is fantastic and everything’s flowing well.

“Everyone is having a great time – come and join us.”

He added: “Weymouth has always been fabulous. It’s fabulous plus the Olympics.

“Everything’s working well and you can get in an out easier than before.”

After lower visitor numbers than expected at the beginning of the sailing events, the campaign was launched to make the most of social media to promote Weymouth and Portland as a great destination.

Readers can show their support for their home borough by using the hashtag on Twitter #weymouth2012, #weymouth and #cometoweymouth to get the message out.

Road restrictions won’t be lifted but in a move to encourage people to come, park and ride charges were dropped for yesterday and today for the Monkey’s Jump site near Dorchester, and will be free after 2.30pm for the rest of the Games.

Mr Campbell said that there was a host of things to do in Weymouth from the Live Site where people can watch the sailing to trying a new sport at the Sports Arena and enjoy the Weymouth Bayside Festival, as well as the Maritime Mix cultural events.

He said: “We are doing our best to get people to come to Weymouth and Portland. It’s a fantastic time and a fantastic place to be. We have fantastic facilities here.”

He added that he wanted the Olympics to be a success for Dorset.

Mr Campbell said: “I want it to be a success as a sporting event. We want people to spend time and money here.”

The exposure from the Games would hopefully encourage people to visit Dorset in the future, Mr Campbell said.

Comments (17)

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10:20am Thu 2 Aug 12

bobby1966 says...

just goes to show in a small way that a lot of visitors were put off by the greed of the council and the extortionate prices.now if they have sensible pricing at the bayside festival instead of the quite outrageous pricing at the minute(5 pound for a bacon butty lol ) then people might be tempted to go more and stay a while longer.with the price reduced to a pound for entry more people went in but when they seen they would need a small bank loan to spend a good few hours with the family there they just had a quick look about and left
just goes to show in a small way that a lot of visitors were put off by the greed of the council and the extortionate prices.now if they have sensible pricing at the bayside festival instead of the quite outrageous pricing at the minute(5 pound for a bacon butty lol ) then people might be tempted to go more and stay a while longer.with the price reduced to a pound for entry more people went in but when they seen they would need a small bank loan to spend a good few hours with the family there they just had a quick look about and left bobby1966

10:20am Thu 2 Aug 12

rosew60 says...

Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...
Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth... rosew60

10:40am Thu 2 Aug 12

satisfecho says...

rosew60 wrote:
Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...
There are lots of places I don't intend to go to, but I don't go on message boards and tell others!
[quote][p][bold]rosew60[/bold] wrote: Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...[/p][/quote]There are lots of places I don't intend to go to, but I don't go on message boards and tell others! satisfecho

10:45am Thu 2 Aug 12

maximan says...

rosew60 wrote:
Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...
Perhaps we don't want you anyway :P
[quote][p][bold]rosew60[/bold] wrote: Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...[/p][/quote]Perhaps we don't want you anyway :P maximan

10:46am Thu 2 Aug 12

Simon 1965 says...

Yes, if you dislike the town so much, why bother posting anything at all?.

Seems like the town can do without the likes of rosew60!

Weymouth forever!

Simon N.
Yes, if you dislike the town so much, why bother posting anything at all?. Seems like the town can do without the likes of rosew60! Weymouth forever! Simon N. Simon 1965

11:06am Thu 2 Aug 12

Laughing gnome says...

This is encouraging news for all. But why only free after 2.30pm ? Why not half the charges at Mount pleasant & Lodmoor to hopefully encourage some more local people to visit ? Whatever, I will be there most days next week, spending the little spare cash I've got, instead of going away as I had hoped.
Perhaps the usual local traders will at least make a living this summer !
Now to get on twitter & help encourage others.
This is encouraging news for all. But why only free after 2.30pm ? Why not half the charges at Mount pleasant & Lodmoor to hopefully encourage some more local people to visit ? Whatever, I will be there most days next week, spending the little spare cash I've got, instead of going away as I had hoped. Perhaps the usual local traders will at least make a living this summer ! Now to get on twitter & help encourage others. Laughing gnome

11:07am Thu 2 Aug 12

satisfecho says...

I tell you what. I have no intention of going to Addis Ababa.

I am now off though to register on the Ethiopian Newspaper website and tell them I am not going there, therefore won't be getting any of my hard earned wages!
I tell you what. I have no intention of going to Addis Ababa. I am now off though to register on the Ethiopian Newspaper website and tell them I am not going there, therefore won't be getting any of my hard earned wages! satisfecho

11:07am Thu 2 Aug 12

jcrwey says...

Bayside is a commercial venture, so no need for a dig at the council about that one.....there is not much they can do about that....

Town is certainly getting busier though and people are thrilled once they come here and have been down, there has been a very obvious and distinct lack of complaints and very positive comments.

I am now encouraging the Ambassador team to give out the 2012 Events Guide for the year to hopefully entice visitors back for future events and return visits, a number of people have been surprised how many other events we have coming up until the end of the year
Bayside is a commercial venture, so no need for a dig at the council about that one.....there is not much they can do about that.... Town is certainly getting busier though and people are thrilled once they come here and have been down, there has been a very obvious and distinct lack of complaints and very positive comments. I am now encouraging the Ambassador team to give out the 2012 Events Guide for the year to hopefully entice visitors back for future events and return visits, a number of people have been surprised how many other events we have coming up until the end of the year jcrwey

11:21am Thu 2 Aug 12

Gridseeeeey says...

Now that Bayside has reduced it's prices to a fiver I'm going this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the evening bands. £10 each was too steep for a family of 4 then the cost of food/drinks on top once inside.

Glad to see things are really picking up and can't wait til I travel down tomorrow from Bristol.

And hopefully there will be a few Brits in the medal celebrations.

Come on team GB.
Now that Bayside has reduced it's prices to a fiver I'm going this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the evening bands. £10 each was too steep for a family of 4 then the cost of food/drinks on top once inside. Glad to see things are really picking up and can't wait til I travel down tomorrow from Bristol. And hopefully there will be a few Brits in the medal celebrations. Come on team GB. Gridseeeeey

11:31am Thu 2 Aug 12

Tim4wfc says...

rosew60 wrote:
Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...
Thanks for that, which I'm sure we all wanted to know.
[quote][p][bold]rosew60[/bold] wrote: Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...[/p][/quote]Thanks for that, which I'm sure we all wanted to know. Tim4wfc

11:32am Thu 2 Aug 12

Laughing gnome says...

satisfecho ...... can't stop laughing at your fantastic wit !
satisfecho ...... can't stop laughing at your fantastic wit ! Laughing gnome

12:27pm Thu 2 Aug 12

TenBobDylanThomasHardy says...

I think we should start a campaign to 'bring rosew60 to Weymouth', let's face it, the campaign to bring the Olympics worked : )
I think we should start a campaign to 'bring rosew60 to Weymouth', let's face it, the campaign to bring the Olympics worked : ) TenBobDylanThomasHardy

1:58pm Thu 2 Aug 12

Wykeite says...

Come on rosew60, come to Weymouth, I'll buy you an ice cream.
Come on rosew60, come to Weymouth, I'll buy you an ice cream. Wykeite

2:05pm Thu 2 Aug 12

Crabber says...

satisfecho wrote:
I tell you what. I have no intention of going to Addis Ababa.

I am now off though to register on the Ethiopian Newspaper website and tell them I am not going there, therefore won't be getting any of my hard earned wages!
you can read about satisfecho's travel exploits at www.sadb*st*rd.com his overbearing pompous website. Everyone has the right to free speech remember that while your in Iraq or Iran
[quote][p][bold]satisfecho[/bold] wrote: I tell you what. I have no intention of going to Addis Ababa. I am now off though to register on the Ethiopian Newspaper website and tell them I am not going there, therefore won't be getting any of my hard earned wages![/p][/quote]you can read about satisfecho's travel exploits at www.sadb*st*rd.com his overbearing pompous website. Everyone has the right to free speech remember that while your in Iraq or Iran Crabber

5:30pm Thu 2 Aug 12

islandman says...

rosew60 wrote:
Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...
What a strange post? whoever you are and wherever you live, what makes you think anyone is in the remotest interested if you have no intention of visiting Weymouth. I'll tell you what, I would never eat colibri, but I have no intention of telling anyone else.
[quote][p][bold]rosew60[/bold] wrote: Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...[/p][/quote]What a strange post? whoever you are and wherever you live, what makes you think anyone is in the remotest interested if you have no intention of visiting Weymouth. I'll tell you what, I would never eat colibri, but I have no intention of telling anyone else. islandman

10:14am Fri 3 Aug 12

Rylstone says...

As soon as I finish work in London today, we are packing up the car and heading to Weymouth for the weekend. We don't have tickets but the screens on the beach and the beach itself looks great and if it rains a little, who cares that's why there are umbrellas and shops! After failing to get any tickets it will be great to go to a place where you can actually see an Olympic event and feel part of it - you can't in London without a ticket!
As soon as I finish work in London today, we are packing up the car and heading to Weymouth for the weekend. We don't have tickets but the screens on the beach and the beach itself looks great and if it rains a little, who cares that's why there are umbrellas and shops! After failing to get any tickets it will be great to go to a place where you can actually see an Olympic event and feel part of it - you can't in London without a ticket! Rylstone

2:17pm Tue 7 Aug 12

CharlieBarley says...

rosew60 wrote:
Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...
That's great news. We now all know it's safe to go to Weymouth because rosew60 won't be there. Where can I get a bus?
[quote][p][bold]rosew60[/bold] wrote: Wont be getting my money wouldnt even go to weymouth...[/p][/quote]That's great news. We now all know it's safe to go to Weymouth because rosew60 won't be there. Where can I get a bus? CharlieBarley

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