Ripley and Heanor residents and traders have welcomed plans to park for free in council car parks across the borough in a bid to support town trade over the festive season.
The free parking scheme, implemented by Amber Valey Borough Council, is aimed at encouraging people to shop locally and boost the economy.
The council reminded residents that displaying a permit in their car windscreen is how they can enjoy free parking over Christmas in all council’s pay and display car parks.
Market trader Jeffrey Mansell, of Heage, voiced his approval of the scheme.
He said: “I think it’s a great idea in the run up to Christmas. If people don’t have to worry about parking then it might draw more people into the centre.
“This is turn may result in more business for local shops and traders, which is brilliant.”
Zoe Parkinson, of Derby Road in Ripley, agreed the scheme was brilliant for her as a regular visitor to the town centre.
She said: “The council car park on the Market Place is the ideal location to park when I need to pop into town.
“I think it is great that as residents we can park for free. It will be convenient for local people and hopefully draw more people into the town centre.”
Heanor Traders Association chairman Paul Taylor embraced the scheme.
He said: “HTA welcomes the free parking scheme implemented by Amber Valley Borough Council during December and hope this will help to boost trade during this very important trading period.”
Councillor Paul Jones agreed.
He added: “I welcome the continuation of free parking up to December 27. Many local businesses are still struggling and anything the council can do to support them is important. But we need to ensure such initiatives are not just for Christmas and support for our local independent shops is ongoing.”
The council is encouraging shoppers to take advantage of the free parking from Friday, December 18 to midnight on Sunday, December 27.
The free parking scheme over the festive period includes the following council car parks in Ripley: Beech House, Crossley Street, Cromford Road, Malthouse Yard, Slack Lane, Market Place, Nottingham Roadm Shirley Road, Wellington Street, Leisure Centre, Church Street.
In Heanor: Ilkeston Road, Market Place, Whysall Street West, Wilmot Street, Leisure Centre North, Leisure Centre South.
The free residents’ permit is issued to all households within the borough with the annual council tax demand.
In addition to the free Christmas parking, the permit provides free parking after 4pm throughout the year. For a one-off fee of £2, residents can also upgrade their permit to allow free parking on Sundays, and for the over-60s an upgraded permit allowing free parking after to 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays is also available.
For more information visit: www.ambervalley.gov.uk.