A FREE parking initiative in York city centre has gone down a storm with customers in its first fortnight.

As The Press reported earlier this month, 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.

More than 1,500 parking sessions have been logged at Peel Street since the scheme began and the plan is for it to run until August 20. The firm is still keen for other businesses to sign up.

The scheme has 22 businesses signed up including Browns, Fenwick, Give the Dog a Bone, Ecco, Ambiente, Spring Espresso, Bish Bash Pot and The Terrace.

It works by customers finding a member of staff at the store or eatery and giving them their car registration, which the business registers with the parking company.

With the governments new ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ initiative starting on August 3, Bransby Wilson say it's a great time to take advantage of the parking scheme while it's running.

There are seven restaurants and cafes in York centre signed up to both schemes: Ambiente Tapas; Brown’s Café; Blue Barbakan; Bull and Co; Parlormade Scone House and Café; Plush Cafe and The Terrac.

Marianne Tritton-Hughes, business development manager for Bransby Wilson, said: “It’s been great running this scheme and seeing how many retailers and restaurants want to take part to offer their customers something extra.

"There's still time for businesses to sign up. Getting the high street moving again will take time, but if we all do a little bit to help it may just get us their sooner.”

Go to: www.peelstreetcarpark.com