FREE parking is being offered at a York city centre car park in a bid to help attract shoppers and diners.

Bransby Wilson, who operate Peel Street car park at the back of Walmgate, are offering their 70 spaces free for a maximum of four hours to people who are visiting participating city centre shops and restaurants.

The scheme would work by customers finding a member of staff at the store or eatery and giving them their car registration, which the business would register with the parking company.

The plan is to get it off the ground as soon as possible and run it for about a month.

A spokesman for the firm said: “As a national car park operator who is based and founded in York for nearly 30 years, we want to support our great city, especially during this unusual time.

“We have seen many brave businesses re-open their doors and we want to do our part to help.

“We will shortly be giving our great retail and hospitality sector the opportunity to encourage their customers to return and gain free parking at one our flagship York sites, a site within the city walls.

“We hope this offer will encourage families to return to York and support our local economy.”

Nick Brown, managing director of Brown’s department store in Davygate, who has been calling for the first two hours parking to be free of charge at city centre council car parks, welcomed the news.

He said: “It’s impressive and proactive and sounds like an excellent initiative from this private company - it’s marvellous to see them offering support like that.”

Bransby Wilson is keen to hear from anyone in hospitality or retail in the city who want to take part. Email