Christmas shoppers encouraged to plan ahead

1 December 2020

Shoppers in Cheshire West and Chester are being encouraged to plan ahead for their Christmas outings and avoid busy peak hour travel if possible.

Lockdown ends on Wednesday, 2 December and Cheshire West has been placed in Tier 2 for Covid restrictions.

This means shops and some of the borough's hospitality industry can now re-open. 

The Council is keen to encourage people to come out and give the borough’s local economy a much-needed boost. The best way to get the most out of your shopping trip is to plan in advance and keep up-to-date with the latest travel information.

For those coming into Chester City Centre, the Park & Ride offers cheap, fast and frequent journeys across the city. The Boughton Heath, Upton and Wrexham Road Park & Ride sites are now open and it costs just £1 for a return trip. 

Hours have been extended to accommodate late-night Christmas shopping in the City too. Find out more on the Council’s website. Please remember face coverings must be worn on all public transport.

The Council and its partners are urging people heading to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet to follow travel advice. Please use the timetable on the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet website to plan your visit during quieter times to avoid capacity of the centre being reached.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: "As lockdown ends we want people to come in and make the most of our town centres and shopping venues.

“We know people will be keen to get out and they will have plenty of shopping to do to get ready for Christmas. Every year at this time our towns and shopping centres get busy, so we are asking people to be aware of this and plan for it.

”We are putting extra resources into traffic management during the festive period. We ask the public to work with us and help us to make this time safe and enjoyable for everyone.”

Superintendent Julie Westgate, Head of Uniform Operations at Cheshire Constabulary, said: “We urge anyone going out shopping this Christmas to plan their journey and go online for local traffic details before leaving home. 

“At the current time Cheshire is classed as a Tier 2 area, and residents are asked to follow the national guidance and avoid travelling into any Tier 3 areas unless it’s essential to do so. Instead, we encourage residents to support their local economy and shop locally wherever possible.
We would also like to remind shoppers of the need to maintain social distancing at all times and to wear a face-covering whenever inside a shop.”

While Kenny Murray, General Manager at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks, added: “In line with the latest English Government update, stores at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet will re-open on Wednesday, 2 December. The wellbeing of our customers, brand partners and employees remains of the utmost importance to us and we have implemented the Government-recommended measures to ensure their health and safety when we re-open. 

“While Christmas at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet may be a little bit different this year, we remain committed to offering our guests an exceptional festive shopping experience. 

To safely facilitate Christmas shoppers, we have extended our opening hours to 9am – 10pm Monday - Friday and would encourage guests to visit 9am – 12pm, or 4pm – 10pm, for a quieter shopping experience.”

Everyone is being asked to observe social distancing, cover faces when indoors and wash their hands or use hand santiser regularly. The Council has been working with businesses so they can also stay Covid-safe for shoppers and staff. 

Visitors should check local traffic reports before making their journey and choose the quieter days and times to shop. Shoppers can also do their bit for the environment by choosing to walk or cycle for shorter journeys.

People driving into Chester should be aware that the new Clockwise one-way system is now operating along most of the inner ring road. 

For more information about Clockwise, visit: For more information on Park and Ride in Chester, visit: For more information about travelling to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet Village, visit:

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