A plan to triple the number of parking spaces at the rundown lower end of Bath Street could boost trade, hopes an Ilkeston councillor.
The bottom end of town has suffered the most in Ilkeston town centre in recent years and is littered with empty shops.
But Cllr John Frudd, who owns a barbers shop in nearby Pelham Street, hopes his plan for ‘echelon’ style parking could bring shoppers back.
“Anything we can do to get more people in to that immediate area should be looked at,” he said.
“It’s not the only answer to the problems, but it’s a start.”
The plan involves changing the parking bays on the right-hand side of Bath Street, looking up the hill, into diagonal spaces.
Currently cars park parallel to the kerb.
Cllr Frudd believes this will increase the number of spaces near the junction with Pelham Street – which are free to park in for 30 minutes – threefold.
“To be quite honest, late in the evening people tend to park diagonally there anyway,” he explained.
An officer from Derbyshire County Council’s highways department recently visited the site with Cllr Frudd and fellow labour councillor Michelle Booth.
She has now gone back to work out whether the plan – which may mean moving a bus stop on the left-hand side further up the road – is feasible.
Last year Erewash Borough Council removed charges from the Lower Bath Street car park in a bid to boost trade.
“That car park is always full,” said Cllr Frudd, “This would free up much-needed spaces.”
He said that the benefit from the increased footfall would outweigh the inconvenience of the work involved in creating the new spaces to nearby businesses.
Cllr Booth added: “It’s the sort of double whammy that I like and if we get the thumbs up from the highways department, Lower Bath Street is ready to roll.”