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It could be you - have you won the Beaminster parking lotto
10:26am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
BEAMINSTER'S first parking lottery winner was delighted with her £200 windfall.
Yarn Barton volunteer Val Johnson from Broadwindsor said she bought her parking ticket just for the chance to win the prize.
She said: “I am very happy to have won.
“I am going to enjoy spending my winnings.
“I came in specially to buy a ticket as I wanted to enter the draw.”
Mrs Johnson has not made up her mind how to spend the money but is leaning towards going out for lunch in the town, she said.
She was one of dozens to enter the draw.
West Dorset District Council introduced the parking lottery scheme - which will cost £8,000 - to help businesses in town struggling since the closure of the tunnel last July following the landslide that killed Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe.
To encourage shoppers to come to town, their tickets are being put into a weekly £200 draw with the money to be spent in the town.
Nigel Reeve, head of Beaminster and District Business Chamber, welcomed the idea.
He said: “We are hoping it will help boost trade as people will have a very real chance of winning a valuable prize every week from January to the end of June 2013.
“We think it's a fantastic step forward and it's something we fully embrace.”
The lottery was also backed by Richard Barker, owner of Cilla and Camilla in Beaminster.
He said: “It is a smashing scheme and very innovative. We have had a good autumn and Christmas and this should now help keep shoppers coming to Beaminster.”
The innovative scheme, thought to be the first of its kind in the country, is designed to attract shoppers to the town while the tunnel and the main A3066 road is closed.
Coun Gillian Summers, who is district council chairman, added: “We listened to concerns about the tunnel closure affecting passing trade.
“Shoppers who come to Beaminster will now have the chance to win a prize worth £200 every week.
“It only costs 30 pence an hour to park in Beaminster so it is great value and great odds.”
Gilbert Berry, chairman of Beaminster Town Council, said: “I think this is a great idea to bring more people into our lovely town.”
Shoppers can enter the lottery simply by sending in their contact details with a parking ticket bought from a district council pay and display machine in Beaminster or dropping them in to the Yarn Barton Centre.
Each week a winner will be drawn who will receive vouchers that can be spent in participating Beaminster shops and businesses.
The weekly draw will take place on Tuesdays.
PANEL: TUNNEL UPDATE
SOIL nailing work started on Monday as part of the £2.24 million Beaminster Tunnel repairs.
Dorset County Council estimate the soil stabilisation option will be finished by Mary 31
Motorists Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe were buried for ten days when a landslip hit the tunnel and road in the July 2012 floods
Since August traffic over 7.5 tonne have been diverted via the A35 to Dorchester, A37 through Grimstone, A356 through Maiden Newton to Misterton Cross.
For lighter vehicles the diversion is along the B3163 Whitcombe Road north-eastward to the A356 crossroads at Toller Down Gate, then to Misterton Cross.
Heavy lorries are not allowed to use White Sheet Hill and no vehicles are allowed to use Common Water Lane and the bridleway will be closed from now until the stabilisation work is finished.
Potholes and existing passing places on the small local roads are being repaired more quickly and the county council is inspecting diversion routes every other day.