Ashfield free parking brings more people into towns

Pay and display car parking sign in Ashfield.
Pay and display car parking sign in Ashfield.
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There has been a significant boost in car park usage in Ashfield since free parking was introduced in pay and display zones in the district.

Ashfield District Council introduced the free one-hour parking policy in their car parks in November 2015 - and although it has only been three months, ticket sales have shot up.

Following the launch, the council say there was a “significant boost” in car park usage during the critical Christmas trading period.

Councillor Cheryl Butler, leader of the council, said: “It’s still early days but all the signs are looking positive.

“We hoped to provide a boost for local traders and shops by encouraging people into Ashfield’s town centres and it seems we’ve achieved what we set out to do.

“It’s good for business and it’s good for people who pay less for parking, providing more of an incentive for them to shop locally.”

This, together with ongoing improvements and regeneration of Ashfield’s town centres, is part of a plan to bring more people into the town centres to use local facilities and shops.

Businesses and interest groups in the area have said the free one-hour parking has helped provide a boost for business.

A staff member at Hallmark cards said: “I have seen a lot more footfall and it is good for business.”

A spokesperson from the Fruit Corner added: “It has made a difference and the car parks are a lot busier.”

According to the council, usage has continued to increase compared to 2015 figures, which supports their aim to increase car park usage and increase footfall in towns.

The council will continue to monitor the scheme to determine its success throughout the year.

The council currently runs and maintains nine pay and display car parks throughout Kirkby, Sutton and Hucknall.

For more information about parking in the district, visit www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk/about-ashfield/parking-in-ashfield.