Just over 114,000 free one hour tickets were issued in the first two months of Erewash Borough Council’s popular free parking scheme in its town centre car parks. The figure is a bumper 40,000 increase on tickets issues in the same period last year on the free 30 minute scheme. Free one hour parking was introduced in the busiest car parks in Ilkeston and Long Eaton in January as a six month trial to encourage people to shop locally and further boost town centre regeneration. Councillor Barbara Harrison, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environment, says:“These latest figures give another clear indication that the one hour free parking is popular and is bringing more people into our town centres. This trial scheme is part of our wider programme to regenerate Ilkeston and Long Eaton and a major part of that is to encourage residents to actively support their town centres by shopping locally.”
Shoppers can park in any of the bays in the car parks offering the free parking at any time of the day but must obtain a ticket from the pay and display machine by pressing the green button. The free ticket will give the expiry time and this must be clearly displayed in the vehicle. The council is monitoring the success of the trial, which runs until Sunday 28 June – including talking to town centre retailers to see if the free parking has had a positive impact on their business.