Residents have vented their outrage at new "slashed" parking charges because you have to spend more to 'pop into town'.

Test Valley Borough Council is set to slash its two-hour parking charge by more than 40 per cent as part of the Romsey town centre rejuvenation.

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.

However, as part of the scheme, you can no longer park in TVBC car parks for 30 minutes for 50p or 45 minutes for 75p.

Therefore, making visitors pay double if they need to just pop into town.

One resident who is "disgusted" at the new scheme, Peter Dudgeon, said: "There is no reason to remove short stay parking - it is just capitalism and the council are trying to get more money.

"They want us to park in free spaces but there aren't many of them around.

"I am just disgusted by the whole thing really and completely disagree with it."

The 46-year-old from Romsey says he uses the short stay parking occasionally and that it is ideal for residents.

Peter added: "I think 50 percent will not stay for more than two hours in Romsey.

"They should change medium stay car parks to long stay and small car parks to short stay only.

"I am speaking for a lot of people."

As well as the four-hour free parking offer at Romsey Rapids continuing past April 2020, the price to stay all day will also remain at £2.10.

One person on Facebook said: "But I do not want two hours in Romsey, not even an hour - 30 mins is all I need for the butchers and greengrocers."

Mark Edgerley, Romsey Town Centre manager, said: "I believe the proposed charging scheme will be a benefit to businesses in the Town, clearly some people will be disappointed at the loss of the ultra short stay pricing but I suspect that it was not well used, because people worry they will not return in time and could get a ticket.

"To simply pay a pound for two hours worry free parking enables people to shop, meet friends for coffee or even have lunch in Town, that has to be a good thing surely?"

Councillor Mark Cooper, who represents Tadburn on the borough council said: "The car park charge change does exactly that. Instead of a 30 minute 'dash-and-go' to call into the bank or whatever residents and visitors can pay a £1 for up to two hours and have time to visit a number of retailers."

Cllr Nick Adams-King said: “This is absolutely not about making more money as our forecasts show that we won’t gain any extra income from the proposed changes. This is purely about supporting local businesses and encouraging people to stay longer in the town.

“Those who want to pop into town for 30 minutes or less can still do this completely free of charge by using the on-street parking spaces. We also continue to offer four hours’ free parking at Romsey Rapids and all of our car parks remain free after 4pm and all day Sundays.