There will be no charges for using the car parks in Stafford Street and New Street but tickets will be required from the machines to ensure visitors do not exceed the three-hour limit. A similar parking scheme has been installed in Wellington.
Councillor Tony Forrester, chairman of the town’s community safety group, said parking had become difficult in parts of Newport and that without measures such as the parking machines a lack of parking could put people off visiting the town.
Former Newport mayor Councillor Forrester explained: "We feel that unless something is done to sort out the parking, you’ll find people drifting.
"People are parking all day, and there’s no space for people who want to come in and shop.
"People look at these meters and think we’ll be charging – we won’t. This is the only sensible way to monitor how long you have been parked there. You have to get a ticket but at least you’re not paying for it.”
A consultation last year revealed that people felt there was also a problem with inconsiderate parking around schools and on pavements.
If the plans for the council to take on the parking powers are approved, they will have the power to issue tickets, although council bosses say that it will not be a money-making exercise, with the emphasis on encouraging better behaviour.
Councillor Eric Carter, who campaigns for civil parking enforcement, said: "I believe it is something we need to do. Other councils have done it. We’re one of the last ones.
"If we’re looking to put in place parking restrictions and look at illegal parking, we need the enforcement power. In Newport we have a lot of problems around schools, and illegal, dangerous parking. There are a number of issues we need to deal with, but if people know there’s no enforcement, they ignore them.”
The council is also planning to take on five traffic wardens.