Enforcement of parking charges will be temporarily suspended in Stroud District Council-owned car parks.

The decision has been made to help drivers needing to make essential trips.

This measure is being implemented so that the council can reallocate parking enforcement staff to critical services which are supporting residents, businesses and communities through the coronavirus pandemic, and to help residents and the small number of essential businesses which the Government is allowing to stay open.

This means motorists will be able to park free-of-charge in Parliament Street, Church Street, Cheapside, Rowcroft, London Road and Brunel Mall car parks in Stroud town, but people can only make essential trips.

Government measures introduced on Monday only permit travel for shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine, which must be done as infrequently as possible, and any medical need or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

Travelling to and from work is also permitted, but only where this is essential work and absolutely cannot be done from home.

Stroud District Council Leader Doina Cornell said:“This will help everyone including key workers like those working in the NHS and our other important services to collect essential food and medicine with one less thing to worry about.

“These are exceptional times and this frees up more staff resource to help where it’s needed – our number one priority is supporting residents, businesses and communities through this, and taking this step will help.”

Payment machines are being covered up in the car parks where charges are normally levied.

This measure will be reviewed on a regular basis and any changes will be fully communicated in advance.

Motorists with season tickets can have them frozen during this period, so they won’t lose out.

To suspend a permit please contact parking@stroud.gov.uk.

For all updates on how Stroud District Council is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, visit bit.ly/3anEFcQ