A SERIES of new ‘dash and go’ free short stay car parking spaces will be created across Andover over the next few weeks – thanks to Test Valley Borough Council.

The project will see 15 new ‘dash and go’ spaces created, with the first two made available in Bridge Street so that visitors can park for up to 15 minutes free of charge – with no return within two hours.

A further 13 spaces are being made available across the town for 30 minutes’ free parking.

Seven of these will be on the service road for George Yard car park, three at Borden Gates near Sainsbury’s and three at Westbrooke Close, near to the police station.

Council leader Councillor Ian Carr said: “As part of the Andover summit, the council listened to what the public and local businesses told us about changes they wished to see in the town.

“Five working groups were set up to take these ideas forward, and the parking and signage working group were tasked to review parking arrangements in the town and identify positive changes.

“One of these changes was to create a series of new spaces spread across the town to enable visitors to park and pop in to the shops for a quick errand without having to pay car parking charges.

“I am pleased that we are about to deliver such a positive scheme.

“This is another example of a project undertaken as a result of the summit, and signals our continued commitment to encourage Andover to thrive and become a town of choice.”

Work will start on Tuesday in Bridge Street to relocate and enlarge an existing loading bay to the other side of the road, and to install the new dash and go spaces.

All the spaces are expected to be available and in use by early July.

After lengthy campaigning, Cllr Carr’s UKIP critic Cllr Tony Hooke said: “It is too little too late after two years of talking.

“We need a plan for the town, not just the centre, which uses money from council reserves to invest in the town.

“If you get the j o b s r i g h t , t h e n the rest will follow.”