Free parking is being given as a “gesture of goodwill”, as major works to improve Freshwater town centre come to an end.

To mark the end of a 12 week scheme people are being offered 2 hours free parking in Avenue Road car park, until Christmas.

Island Roads has said it is underwriting the cost of the free parking as a “goodwill gesture to the town, its traders and residents”.

Work carried out on the town centre includes the reconstruction and resurfacing of Avenue Road and the footway. There were also improvements to planters and a series of pedestrian crossing points.

Island Roads deputy service director, Steve Ashman said:

“This has been much more than a resurfacing scheme. Not only have we rebuilt the foundations of the road to make it more durable in the future, we have created a number of improvements to make Avenue Road a more pedestrian-friendly shopping area. As a result of all this work however, there has been an inevitable impact on the area over recent weeks.

“Though we have finished the project on schedule, we wanted to recognise the patience and understanding shown by businesses and residents. We are therefore pleased to be able to respond to traders requests and to provide free parking in Avenue Road.”

Freshwater Parish Councillor Mike Wheeler said:

“We are all aware of the disruption caused by the major roadworks and the impact it has had on local businesses and the community in general. We are grateful therefore to Island Roads for providing the free parking during the busy run-up to Christmas.

Mike added:

“I am confident that the scheme represents a major improvement to the street scene and confirms that Freshwater is open for business.”