FREE parking is due to be extended to include on-street parking in Southampton City Centre.

Southampton City Council has announced that charges are set to be removed from on-street parking bays in the city centre during weekday evenings.

This comes after parking charges were also suspended in council-operate off-street locations as well.

The decision, which was made unanimously by Cabinet councillors, means that from August 1, parking charges will be formally lifted from Monday to Saturday (6pm to 8pm) in city centre on-street pay and display bays.

This will join the changes already in place, with Sunday parking currently free between 12pm and 6pm in all council off-street car parks - including multi-storey car parks. This will run until January 2

This forms part of the council’s Get Southampton Moving campaign, which is designed to welcome people back to the city centre safely and support local people and businesses as Southampton recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Cabinet Member for Growth, Southampton City Council, commented: “Now that all legal restrictions have been removed, we want people to safely enjoy everything Southampton has to offer, whether that’s visiting the shops, watching a film at the cinema or meeting friends for a meal at one of our great restaurants.

"And thanks to free city centre parking and discounted bus fares, we’re helping to make your money go further so you can support local businesses and Get Southampton Moving.”

Bluestar and First Southampton are also offering £1 fares on all city centre routes after 6pm, Monday to Sunday and the council says it is working closely with partner organisations, plus major venues and attractions in the city, to promote the campaign and encourage customers to make the most of the new parking and bus travel initiatives.

Giles Semper, Executive Director of GO! Southampton (Business Improvement District), said: “The pandemic has hit local businesses hard, so we’re pleased the council has committed to lifting park charges in the city centre and giving residents and visitors the opportunity to support city centre industries at this critical time.”