CAR PARK fees have been scrapped across the Test Valley amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Test Valley Borough Council have lifted parking fees from all of their car parks after Boris Johnson's lockdown announcement, allowing residents to park there for as long as they wish for free.

This decision has been made by the leaders of TVBC for a number of reasons.

Deputy leader of the borough council, Cllr Nick Adams-King said: "The number of parking spaces is less than the number of parking spaces in the central zone of Romsey.

"This is because there are normally more people away at one time. So we needed to allow people to be able to park in the car parks near to their home without being booked."

"The second reason is to make it quicker for people who are visiting town so they can spend as less time outside as possible.

"By not have the machines running, people will not be pushing the buttons on the machine which reduces the risk of spreading the virus."

Cllr Adams-King said the third reason is to make shopping easier for people who are buying essential items and having to shop for their neighbours.

He added: "We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people. We knew number of car parks were not going to be heavily used for good reason.

"There is also a lot of people in the town centre and do not want to find on-street parking."

He has confirmed the prices will return after lockdown has finished but said there may be changes due to Hampshire County Council taking over parking responsibilities.

This comes as on-street parking changes in the Test Valley will come into force on April 1, including the doubling of price for residents' parking permits.

Councillor John Parker said: "They will also be moving from paper parking permits to electronic ones and changing the rules about visitor parking permits.

"At this stage these are only proposals but I get the feeling that they are likely to be taken forward unless there is a concerted campaign to the contrary."