TEST Valley residents are being reminded free car parking will come to an end today.

As reported, standard parking charges will resume 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.

This comes after Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) suspended the charges in all its car parks on March 25 following the Prime Minister’s, Boris Johnson, lockdown announcement.

Now community leaders have revealed their thoughts on the parking charges coming back into force.

READ: Thousands of pounds lost in car parking charges since lockdown began >>>

Deputy leader for TVBC and Conservative Cllr Nick Adams-King said: "We have said we would support the high street with free parking, but we cannot keep doing this for much longer.

"Our neighbours, such as Southampton, the New Forest and Eastleigh, all reinstated their parking charges before us and I'm afraid we cannot afford to keep it that way indefinitely.

"But, we will be reviewing the situation and if we find ourselves back into lockdown again we will absolutely look at what we need to do with parking, so it fits the situation."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Nick Adams-KingCllr Nick Adams-King

Liberal Democrat Cllr John Parker, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "The scheme for free parking was so that residents who couldn't travel to work, because they were at home, had somewhere to park.

"What we need to do now is switch that around, so residents can go to work to provide space in car parks for shoppers."

READ: Plans to build three houses and a car park next to a church are slammed >>> 

He added: "We need to see what happens during July with footfall in town and what trading is like, so when we get to the end of the month we can see if we need to persuade Test Valley to continue the two hours of free parking."

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr John ParkerCllr John Parker

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, TVBC's car parks remained free of charge until June 22.

From June 22 to yesterday, the local authority offered the first two hours of parking for free in all of their car parks before charges will be fully reintroduced today.