FREE-on-street parking spaces in Romsey town centre could be in danger of being scrapped.

Approximately 29 spaces in Lortemore Place car park which offer free parking for up to one hour could come to an end when work in the Market Place finishes.

Planning portfolio holder and chair of Romsey Future, councillor Nick Adams-King of Test Valley Borough Council, said: “We have not made a decision yet on if we will start charging for the car parking spaces, but it is tricky because we have to think about the costs.

“The free spaces have been quite popular and traders are keen that we should keep some free parking. Once the work in the Market Place is complete, I think we will get back an extra 15 spaces that were previously free of charge, so we have to decide, do we keep the other 29 spaces free as well.”

Councillor Nik Daas, who represents Romsey Abbey on the borough council, said: “I think those free spaces are quite key because business owners have said the works in the Market Place have caused more problems for them and if we want to support those business we have to have free parking.

“Free parking will encourage more people to visit the town, which will help small businesses. I sometimes use those free spaces and it would be a shame to lose them.”

This comes after the work to revamp the Market Place started on January 7, meaning that many of the free short-stay on-street parking spaces in the town centre were temporarily unavailable.

As previously reported in the Advertiser, the works are the last phase of the £3.2million enhancements to Romsey town centre.

As part of the scheme, the roundabout in the Market Place is set to be replaced with a large piazza-style build-out around Lord Palmerston’s statue.

York stone paving will surround the Palmerston statue and power bollards will be installed at the entrances to the Market Place.

The scheme led by Hampshire County Council is expected to be completed by June.