Test Valley Borough Council is set to slash its two-hour parking charge by more than 40 per cent and introduce free parking at Shepherds Spring Lane to help increase visitors to Andover town centre.

From April 2020, shoppers will be able to park for two hours for just £1, the same price currently charged for one hour, doubling the amount of time they can stay. And Shepherds Spring Lane car park in Andover, which holds 155 spaces, will soon offer two hours’ free parking.

The changes will also see the removal of the 30-minute, 45-minute and hour tariffs – with prices starting at £1 for 2-hours.

Parking Portfolio Holder and Deputy Leader, Councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “We have such ambitious plans to rejuvenate our town centres and the one thing we are continually asked for is cheaper parking. So instead of following the old parking strategy of inflationary rises, we’re thrilled that we’re now able to offer free parking in Andover through two-hour stays at Shepherds Spring Lane together with two hours for the current price of one.

“The majority of people that park in Test Valley car parks stay for between one and two hours, so these changes will help the greatest number of users. Free parking after 4pm and all day on Sundays and bank holidays will still apply – and with contactless payment now available we’re making sure it is as easy as possible to park up and shop locally.

“While the very short-stay charges will be removed, people will now be able to secure two hours of parking for just £1, which we hope will encourage those parking in the borough not to rush and instead enjoy a little more time in the town centre. Although, if you need to pop into town for a short while then you can always use one of our free dash and go spaces.”

Andover BID manager, Steve Godwin said: “In our dialogue with businesses, the message has been very clear: that car parking charges are an important factor in the success of the High Street, and something needed to happen. The introduction before Christmas by TVBC of cashless facilities allowing people to use debit and credit cards was the first positive move.”

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