Middlesbrough Council considers free parking trial

A Teesside council is set to spend £300,000 on a free car parking trial intended to boost town centre trade.

Middlesbrough Council's executive is being asked to approve a plan that would allow free parking for two hours over an initial six-month period.

A report says custom has been "haemorrhaging", partly due to out-of-town retail parks.

Signage would be changed and ticket machines modified before the target start date of 18 February.

The council, which announced budget cuts of £13m for 2013-14 in October, expects the plan will result in lost revenue "in excess" of £300,000.

"The aim is to support the town centre economy, particularly the retail and office sector by attracting more visitors and providing cheaper parking for town centre workers," the report says.

Councillors will discuss the proposal on 12 February.

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