CULVER Street car park in Salisbury is to be free after 3pm for shoppers from the end of the month.

The Free After 3 concession will begin for the start of Independents’ Week, a week-long promotion and celebration of the city’s independent retailers and restaurants.

Wiltshire Council has made the decision following lobbying from the Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID).

Parking bosses have told BID they will allow shoppers to use the Culver Street car park at no cost Monday to Saturday, having already given the go ahead for free parking there on Sunday and bank holidays.

The relaxation of the parking rules follows increased pressure from the city centre businesses, who claim high fees have had an impact on their trading.

The Free After 3 parking arrangement will begin on June 30.

Independent trader Steve Dauwalder, owner of La Mollina Restaurant in the Market Place, said: “This initiative could not have come at a better time for Salisbury as we experience higher visitor numbers at this time of the year. With a number of new businesses having recently opened or about to open, traders are optimistic of a rosy future for the city.

“This is a really good start from Wiltshire Council and we hope to see more initiatives from them in the future as part of making Salisbury competitive on parking amongst its neighbouring towns and cities.

Mr Dauwalder, who is also a BID Director, added: “In addition to the parking initiatives, Wiltshire Council are also undertaking a refurbishment of the Culver Street Shoppers Car Park including rebranding as a Shoppers Car Park and working with the BID and the City Council to create a more welcoming environment. This will include replanting and redecoration of some of the area.”