Test Valley Borough Council chiefs have extended free parking until 22 July to help businesses and their customers through the initial reopening of the high street.
Parking will remain completely free up to and including 21 June. On Monday 22 June, the authority will introduce a new offer whereby customers will be able to park for free for up to two hours, with normal charges applying for those staying for longer periods.
The council will eventually resume standard charges on 22 July. This will be at the new rate that came into force from 1 April, which enables customers to park for two hours for £1. People will also be able to continue to park for free for up to two hours at Shepherds Spring Lane.
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to extend free parking for up to two hours until 22 July. With the town centre starting to reopen this week, I hope that this will encourage people to start to return to the High Street and support their local shops.
“Suspending parking charges has had a huge impact on council finances but it was vital that we took the hit in order to support those heading out to collect supplies for friends, family and neighbours.”
Parking will remain free after 4pm Monday to Saturday as well as all day Sunday and bank holidays.
The authority suspended the charges in all its car parks on 25 March following the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement.