Parkes businesses called on to sign up for next year's Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme

Parkes Coffee Pot owner Charlie Pecenka and his staff Leanne Field, Zac Millett and Tracy Tonkin have been participating in the Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme for a number of years and will be doing so again next year. Photo: Christine Little
Parkes Coffee Pot owner Charlie Pecenka and his staff Leanne Field, Zac Millett and Tracy Tonkin have been participating in the Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme for a number of years and will be doing so again next year. Photo: Christine Little

Businesses are invited to help tackle driver fatigue by registering to take part in next year's 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme.

The multi award-winning driver fatigue awareness campaign, will run from March 1 to May 31, 2020.

The scheme encourages visiting drivers to stop at participating businesses for a free cuppa so as to take a break from driving long distances.

Entering its 10th year, the scheme sees partnerships formed between participating councils and businesses. Councils provide the marketing and administer the scheme, while the participating businesses provide the free cuppas.

Parkes Coffee Pot owner Charlie Pecenka is among the local businesses who's been participating in the Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme for a number of years and will be doing so again next year.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan shire councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says the scheme is a win for everyone involved.

"It's a win for road safety as drivers take a rest break, a win for local villages and towns as they attract increased visitors and a win for the participating businesses who attract increased customers and business," she said.

"The scheme will be operating in more than 20 local government areas across the Western, South Western and Hunter Regions of NSW, stretching from the Victorian border to the Queensland border and across to the coast at Port Stephens.

"The vast area comprises highways like the Castlereagh, Gwydir, Golden, Great Western, Hume, Mitchell, Newell, Oxley, Pacific and New England, all of which drivers use for work, holidaying, touring or accessing medical services."

Since its inception the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme has given away more than 20,000 free cuppas throughout NSW. Last year the scheme was operational in 50 towns or cities and 101 participating businesses.

"There were 15 participating businesses in the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan shire council areas during phase nine earlier this year - a variety of cafes, bakeries, service stations, clubs and pubs," Ms Suitor said.

"The support and involvement of the participating businesses is essential to the success of this program and potentially saving lives on our roads.

"We'd love to see our existing businesses return for the 10th phase in 2020 and warmly welcome new business partners as well."

The closing date for phase 10 registrations is Friday, October 18.

If your business would like to participate in the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme, please contact Melanie Suitor on 6861 2364 or email Melanie.Suitor@parkes.nsw.gov.au. Alternatively you can register on the website www.freecuppa.com.au.

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