Free parking is approved for Ashfield

Plans for free parking for one hour  in  Ashfield  will be introduced before Christmas.   Pictured is the Stoney Street car park, Sutton.
Plans for free parking for one hour in Ashfield will be introduced before Christmas. Pictured is the Stoney Street car park, Sutton.
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Ashfield District Council has approved plans for an hour’s free parking in all the council’s pay and display car parks.

The proposed free parking period was approved at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Councillor Cheryl Butler, Leader of the Council, said the changes would be implemented in time for Christmas.

Coun Butler said: “The more we can do to encourage people to visit and shop in our towns, the better it will be for the local economy.

“This free parking offer is a positive move that will benefit residents, visitors and traders alike.

“Our local towns have so much to offer.

“Knowing you can just pop in to the town, parking for free for up to an hour, would be an incentive for residents to shop locally and would also provide a boost for local traders and shops.”

The proposal is to carry out a review after 12 months to ensure the new scheme is meeting its objectives and to monitor the impacts on Ashfield towns.

The cabinet meeting at Kirkby heard that based on current data of tickets sold in the past year, 59 per cent were in the one-hour or below tariff band, so the free parking will potentially benefit the majority of car park users.

The meting was told the free hour’s car parking, together with ongoing improvements and regeneration of local areas, such as pedestrianised shopping area in Kirkby town centre, developing improved environments for local markets and Hucknall’s upcoming pedestrianised high street, will help to attract more people to use local facilities and shops.

Hucknall south councillor Keir Morrison, said: “We have listened to residents and traders alike and have acted upon our flagship election pledge.”

In order to have the greatest beneficial effect on car park users and with the aim of encouraging short stay visits to town centre shops , it was agreed that a free parking period of one hour will be introduced, with the two hour charge remaining at 60p.

The proposal also increases the four hour and full day tariffs by 50p up to £1.50 and £2 respectively.

All users will be required to obtain a ticket, including those parking in the one hour free period, to avoid receiving a penalty charge notice.