Parking across Edinburgh city centre is to be free from 5pm during the Edinburgh Festival.
The ‘Alive after 5’ campaign is being run by Edinburgh City Council, Marketing Edinburgh and Essential Edinburgh, and will also see shops staying open until 7pm.
The three organisations will make-up the estimated £55,000 in lost income which would have expected to be collected from parking meters in that time
Transport leader Lesley Hinds said: “This is a fantastic initiative that will make it more attractive for people to come into the city centre in the August evenings or for workers to stay longer at the end of their day.
“Edinburgh has a superb range of shops, restaurants and festival venues, and this is all about helping people to spend more time enjoying them during a period which is so important to businesses.
“While the free parking should encourage visitors to the city centre, there’s also great public transport available, including frequent buses and trains, and several park and ride sites.
“We know there is pressure on Edinburgh businesses and we are committed to various initiatives that will support them.
“I’m also delighted that so many firms have put their backing to this campaign, ranging from small independent traders to household names such as John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and Primark.”
Lucy Bird, Marketing Edinburgh chief executive, said: “Businesses and shoppers have welcomed similar initiatives before, and recent experience in Manchester and Newcastle shows that it can make a real difference.
“We could see up to an extra 20% footfall in the city centre and we’re really confident that this will help the shops that are extending their hours as well other traders.”
Andy Neal, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh said: “We are fully behind this pilot and anticipate that it will help bridge that gap between when shops normally close and when people begin to visit restaurants and cafes.
“Given experiences elsewhere, we expect the additional opening time to help trading, in particular to be busier than early morning.”
The streets where free parking will apply include: Charlotte Square, Frederick Street, George Street, Glenfinlas Street, Hill Street, North Castle Street, North St Andrew Street, Queen Street, St Andrew Square, St Colme Street, Thistle Street, Young Street, Ainslie Place, Alva Street, Atholl Crescent, Chester Street, Coates Crescent, Drumsheugh Gardens, Great Stuart Street, Manor Place, Melville Crescent, Melville Street, Palmerston Place, Randolph Lane, Randolph Place, Rothesay Place, Rothesay Terrace, Rutland Square, Rutland Street, Stafford Street, Walker Street, William Street, Forth Street, Little King Street, Picardy Place, Register Place, Union Street, Waterloo Place, Annandale Street, Barony Place, Barony Street, Broughton Place, Brunswick Road, Brunswick Street, Elm Row, Gayfield Square, Gayfield Street, Hart Street, Hopetoun Crescent, McDonald Road, Montgomery Street, New Broughton, Windsor Street.
The campaign will run from 6 August until 1 September and the council have said it could be repeated during December for the winter festivals.