TRADERS have won their fight to retain "free after three" parking at Aldershot's High Street multi-storey car park.

Their protests have persuaded Rushmoor Council to scrap its plan to make motorists pay for parking after 3pm at the car park.

Business chiefs said the proposal would penalise town centre workers who would have to fork out £2.20 instead of 70p to park there each day.

As a further sweetener, the council's cabinet has made it cheaper for workers to park at the town's Warburg and Farnborough's Kingsmead car parks.

A move to charge motorists to park on Sundays has been shelved until the council has guaged public opinion.

Overall parking charges will rise by about 10p an hour in the borough's car parks from the middle of next month.

It is the first price review in 18 months, and the council says new prices will be more in line with those charged by neighbouring local authorities.

Coun. Roland Dibbs, environment cabinet member, said: "My main objective has always been to reduce the deficit on running our car parks."

He said users should meet the costs in full rather than for the service to be subsidised by council taxpayers.