TEST Valley residents are being reminded they can park for free all day until Monday in a bid to help businesses and customers after high streets reopened yesterday.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) extended free parking until Wednesday, July 22, meaning drivers will not have to pay a penny to park up to and including Sunday, June 21.

This comes after TVBC suspended the charges in all its car parks on March 25 following the Prime Minister’s, Boris Johnson, coronavirus lockdown announcement.

On Monday, June 22, the authority will introduce a new offer where motorists can park for free for up to two hours, with normal charges applying for those staying for longer periods.

This will continue until the council resumes standard charges on July 22, which will see drivers will pay the new rate that came into force from April 1, where customers can park for two hours for £1.

People will also be able to continue to park for free for up to four hours at Romsey Rapids.

Transport portfolio holder, cllr Nick Adams-King, said: “With town centres up and down the country starting to reopen, I am pleased that we have been able to offer an extended free parking period.

"We hope this will provide further encouragement for people to return to Romsey and help to start rebuilding the local economy.

“Though the suspension of parking charges during the lockdown period has come at a significant cost to the authority, it was absolutely the right decision.

"It helped support those heading out to collect supplies for themselves and others and provided additional parking for those living in and around the town centres who were confined to their homes.”

Parking will remain free after 4pm Monday to Saturday, including all day Sunday and bank holidays.