Croydon Council has implemented an hour of free parking in nine district centres to make it easier for shoppers and traders.

The centres will be Coulsdon, Purley, Sanderstead, Addiscombe, Selsdon, Thornton Heath, South Norwood, Cherry Orchard Road and New Addington.

Previously free parking was limited to 30 minutes.

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “By making the first hour free of charge in these parking bays, we’re making it quicker, easier and less expensive for people to park outside their local shops for a short time, while still keeping the traffic flowing.

“We know it’s really important to have short-term parking available for shoppers in our district centres – that’s why those areas have parking restrictions. Pay-and-display bays benefit small businesses and their customers, because they place a reasonable limit on the amount of time people can occupy a space outside the shops.”

Ken Burgess, chair of the Central Parade Business District Partnership and owner of Burgess Boys Pet Care Centre, said: “This is excellent – tremendous news as far as the small shops are concerned. It’s good for the customers and good for the shop-keepers – it’s a win-win.

“It lets people use their local shops more easily – half an hour isn’t really enough time but an hour lets people go into a couple of shops at least. It’s very beneficial to the district centres.”