FREE parking in Romsey and Test Valley is set to be extended for another two weeks in a bid to help businesses and customers when high streets reopen.

This comes after Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) scrapped car parking charges across the borough on March 25 following the Prime Minister's, Boris Johnson, lockdown announcement.

Now deputy leader of TVBC, cllr Nick Adams-King, has announced normal charges will only apply from Wednesday, 22nd July, if approved by Cabinet members on Friday.

The move would mean drivers can park for free all day up to and including Sunday 21st June.

If given the green light, from Monday, June 22, all of the authority's car parks would be free for the first two hours for a further month, but charges will apply as normal for stays longer than two hours.

In a message on Facebook, Mr Adams-King posted: "Last week I told you that we were planning to introduce a further period of free parking to help businesses and their customers after the high street reopened, which was previously scheduled for the 1st June.

"In light of the Government’s announcement last night confirming that non-essential retailers won’t be able to open until the 15th June, I will be moving an amendment at Cabinet this Friday to extend free parking for a further fortnight.

"This means normal charges will only apply from Wednesday, July 22."

He added the normal parking charges will be set at the lower rate that was set to be introduced from April 1 - £1 for the first two hours.

Opposition cllr John Parker, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "It seems a sensible move to keep free car parking in step with the shops closure.

"It seems fair people who still have to be at home and work have got adequate places to park, which was the whole motivation behind it, as it makes sure on-street parking does not get too blocked up."

He added: "We probably need to have a review of car parking charges once the shops open to see if there is any advantage of keeping it free for a while to attract people to come to the shops."

Car parking will also remain free after 4pm, on Sundays and Bank Holidays.