A ‘leap of faith’ by St Edmundsbury Borough Council will see parking in Bury St Edmunds made free from 3pm on Tuesdays from next month.
The scheme will start next month, probably on April 9 and will only be in the short stay car parks.
The 10-month pilot project will cost the council an estimated £69,000 in lost revenue – but it hopes the move will encourage shoppers and visitors into Bury on the quietest afternoon of the week and give trade a welcome boost.
“This is a leap of faith on behalf of the council,” said Bid4Bury chief executive Mark Cordell.
“The council has listened to me and come up with something that actually goes beyond what we asked for in so much as it will remain free into the evening.
“This isn’t just about retail. This will also benefit the professional services we have here.”
He said he would now be speaking to businesses to see what promotions they can offer to shoppers around a ‘Choose Tuesday’ theme.
Council leader Cllr John Griffiths said: “We hope it will encourage even more people to come visit the town and the wonderful businesses we have here.”
He said the council had initially been looking to introduce the scheme on Thursdays but had changed it to Tuesday’s at the request of businesses.
Mr Cordell admitted he would like to see the scheme extended to vother days after the 10 month trial, but said it is now down to the town centre businesses to make it work.
He will ask Suffolk County Council to trial the scheme on on street car parks on Angel Hill and The Buttermarket.