A decision on free parking yet to be made

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A final decision on whether a free parking scheme in Ilkeston and Long Eaton will continue will be made next month.

Erewash Borough Council introduced the one-hour free parking trial earlier this year to attract more shoppers to the towns.

The council’s scrutiny panel are now reviewing the options and a report will go to the full council on October 15.

The council has conducted several surveys with retailers, shoppers and visitors over the last few months, asking questions such as whether they visited the town more often as a result of the free parking. A survey carried out in Ilkeston in May found that 70 per cent of people said they visited the town more.

Councillors will now decide whether any further data is required before coming to conclusions and making recommendations.

One retailer, who did not wish to be named, said he feared the council had already made its mind up.

He said: “One hour isn’t really long enough for people to come from out of town and spend serious money.”