THE launch of a free parking trial project in towns across Carmarthenshire has prompted calls for the same in Cardigan.

Cllr Clive Davies highlighted the scheme at a meeting of Cardigan Town Council and argued the town was well placed to trial something similar in Ceredigion.

Towns throughout Carmarthenshire are currently being allowed free parking periods to try to encourage footfall and support local businesses.

In Newcastle Emlyn, for example, parking is free between 10am-2pm from Monday-Wednesday, though drivers still need to obtain a ticket from the machines so usage can be monitored.

Cllr Davies said a similar scheme could be set up in Cardigan and results recorded.

“I have been in touch with Welsh Government to see what figures they have on the impact of free parking, and whether there is any possible finance to do this,” he said.

“There’s no firm evidence at the moment that free parking would make shops any busier or that spaces would simply be taken up by workers in the town.

“But Cardigan is now somewhat unique and we can make the most of the technology we have in place.

“We can measure these things because of the WiFi system we have. We know how many people come and how long they stay in the town.

“If we put a free parking pilot scheme in place here, we would be able to measure if people stay here longer and if more people come here.”

Cardigan Traders group has long argued that parking charges imposed by Ceredigion have a huge impact on businesses.