The removal of evening parking charges after 6pm came into effect on 1 October and will continue until 31 March. The car parks benefitting from this trial are Seaways, Fairheads Green and Western Esplanade.
During this period, the Council is monitoring the car park usage to assess the impact that this initiative will have on attracting more visitors to the seafront during the winter period.
After the trial, the Council will review the findings, consult seafront traders and decide whether any benefits that would justify making the parking trial permanent.
Councillor Martin Terry, Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Transport, said: “This trial will enable us to establish what level of benefit free evening parking brings to local trade and weigh that up against the cost to the Council of providing free parking in terms of lost parking charges and other costs. A decision will then be made on whether to introduce it on a permanent basis.
“The administration wants to help local business where it can and if this helps seafront traders boost trade and extend their season, then I will be delighted.”
Signs at the affected car parks have been amended.