VISITORS to Weymouth are now able to see where they can park thanks to a new online service.
Business leaders have welcomed the move, which comes after traders complained that visitors were having problems finding spaces.
The service, launched by Dorset County Council, displays up-to-date counts of empty car park spaces in the town.
It marks the latest development in the council’s car park guidance system covering Weymouth. It will be rolled out later in Dorchester and Christchurch.
President of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce Julie Cleaver said: “Anything to help people know where to park is good, because it is a bit of a minefield for any visitors coming to a new town.
“I’ve looked at the service and it is disappointing – there are still eight car parks where data isn’t available because this amounts to a lot of spaces, so improvements could be made, but it’s a good start.”
Nigel Reed from the Weymouth Business Improvement District (BID) said: “Anything that helps provide ease of parking is a good thing. Other towns have good monitoring systems so hopefully this is a positive step.”
The move could help visitors find available spaces across the town.
Businesses in Weymouth previously complained about the lack of parking in the town and the difficulty in knowing where there are empty parking spaces.
Nicole Orme from Vibrant You tanning salon in Park Street said: “It has got better here but customers do mention about not being able to park.
“If some of them are coming in on their way home from work and can’t park they just go home.”
Linda Williams, owner of Dream On tearooms on the Esplanade, said: “Just under half our customers complain about not being able to park.
“Recently my husband took 45 minutes to try to park near here.”
To see live parking space availability visit dorsetforyou.com and follow the links on the parking pages.