FREE parking could be introduced in Shrewsbury to encourage more people to visit the town.

Shropshire Council leader Keith Barrow and Peter Nutting, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, met with town centre traders and agreed a set of measures, which also includes longer opening hours for stores on Sunday.

Cllr Barrow said: “This was a really positive meeting and there was unanimous agreement that it is only by joint working that the undoubted strengths of the town can be really promoted.

“We agreed that we all need to work together to help ‘talk up’ and generate positive stories about the town and what it has to offer to visitors, in order to encourage people to visit and shop in Shrewsbury.

“I agreed to improve the operation of the Raven Meadows multi-storey car park, and to examine Sunday car parking charges in the town, and maximise the promotional possibilities of offering free parking for special events.

“And to help improve things for traders in the town I also agreed to ensure even higher levels of customer service by our parking enforcement team.

“Our town is famous as a friendly town and I want to make sure they are ambassadors for Shrewsbury.”

Business leaders said they will look at offering parking refunds if customers make purchases in their stores.

They will also be examining again how more shops can open longer in the town centre on Sundays.

Edward Goddard from Morris Leisure, who is also chairman of Destination Shrewsbury, said: “The commitment by businesses, Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council to pledge resources to put the marketing of the town on a whole new level is fantastic.

“The message is clearly that Shrewsbury is open for business.”

Footfall data from Destination Shrewsbury showed an increase on last year for the number of people visiting Shrewsbury’s shopping centres.

And data provided by Shropshire Council showed the number of vehicles parking on-street is up four per cent so far this year, compared to the same period last year.

The number of vehicles parking in town centre car parks on Sundays is also higher than last year.