NEW parking charges are being introduced in a Hampshire town to entice more people to shop locally.

A ‘buy one hour get one free’ offer will be coming to all pay and display car parks in the centre of Eastleigh.

But the offer only applies when a ticket is purchased digitally using RingGO payment phone app.

As well as this, the longer three-hour tariff is being removed from Wells Place Car Park to encourage shorter parking stays, Eastleigh Borough Council says.

The new rates will “likely” be implemented some time this week, a council spokesperson confirmed, running until January 1 next year.

Cllr Tina Campbell , chairman of Eastleigh Local Area Committee - the group which put forward the idea, said” “We are committed to supporting our town centre through these difficult times.

“This is another way, alongside many other measures we have already put in place, to help encourage visitors into the town over the next few months and in the run up to the festive season.”

This comes after the council agreed to keep Market street and High Street closed until April 2021.

MP for Eastleigh Paul Holmes said: “This is a step in the right direction but only a very small one.

“I would like to see more free parking in the evening, parking spaces for those with disabilities in the town centre and somewhere for taxis to service the town centre trade.

“Councillors need to listen to the concerns put forward by our local businesses in the town and take action before it is too late.

“Bold initiatives are what we need, not minor tweaks.”