MOTORISTS in Purbeck will soon be charged two hours earlier at Dorset Council car parks across the district.

New regulations, agreed by Dorset Council, come into effect from April 1 – meaning car parks in the Purbeck area will have a charging period from 8am until 6pm.

Currently car parks run by Dorset Council across Purbeck charge from 10am until 7pm.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s member for highways, travel and environment, said: “I feel that these changes strike a balance between supporting our town centres and high streets, as well as ensuring charging is fair and can sustain our car parks across the county.

“The standardisation of car park charging times across the council area will provide residents and visitors with a seamless transition from town to town, knowing exactly when they will need to pay at one of our car parks."

Originally the council wanted to extend all evening charges up until 8pm, but this was met with concern from many town and parish councils.

“We’re continuing our work to make car park charging more comparable across the council area, which will include in depth discussions with town and parish councils and local accessibility groups.

"This includes exploring the idea of a council-wide shoppers permit.”