Published: 19/01/2018 14:00 - Updated: 19/01/2018 13:16

Free 15-minute parking trial launched in city

Written byGregor White

Bid manager Mike Smith.FREE short-term parking has started in Inverness city centre as part of a year-long trial.

The news delighted Inverness Business Improvement District (Bid) which, along with the Inverness Courier, campaigned for the move.

Bid believes it has the potential to encourage greater footfall in the city centre, with a similar scheme in Perth having previously been credited with boosting trade there.

The Inverness pilot will apply to on-street parking bays in seven locations: Ardross Street, Castle Street, Church Street, Hill Place, Huntly Street, Ness Bank and Ness Walk.

Motorists will still have to display a ticket on their car, with instructions on how to obtain them on meters.

Bid manager Mike Smith (pictured) said: "We are delighted free parking has been implemented on this one-year trial basis and although it does operate in a limited number of locations, it is a definite move forward and a positive message to people that we want to see them in the city centre."

Malcolm Fraser, of well-known city butcher and fishmongers Duncan Fraser and Son, previously said he thought more small businesses might start exploring click and collect options if the 15-minute initiative took off, allowing customers to order ahead and quickly pop into shops like his to pick goods up.

"In the face of out-of-town retail parks and online shopping, city centre businesses need all the help they can get and anything that makes Inverness more car-friendly can only be a good thing," he said.

"Well done to Inverness Bid and the council for bringing this to fruition."

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