KEY workers can park free of charge across the BCP Council area from today.

Parking restrictions have also been lifted in residential areas to help people self-isolating and working from home.

But motorists have been warned that obstructive or dangerous parking will not be tolerated.

The council will continue to enforce double yellow lines, loading restrictions, zig zags at crossings, zig zags outside schools and obstruction of dropped kerbs and essential buildings.

They will also act against incidents of obstructive or dangerous parking that could have a more significant impact on safety and access for emergency and essential services.

Council car parks, on-street paid-for parking bays and permit bays will all be free of charge for key workers - and they can stay for as long as they like.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council said: “We want to make sure residents can confidently follow government guidelines without the worry of where to park.

“This means that we will allow all key workers to use on and off-street parking bays without time restriction or charge. This includes any council car parks, on-street paid for parking bays and permit bays in controlled parking zones.

“Parking management is an important public service maintaining road safety, access for emergency services and the delivery of goods and services, including refuse collection vehicles. This is extremely important in these challenging times.

“We ask everyone to respect everyone’s safety and park considerately and legally at all times. We also ask you to be respectful to our officers carrying out these critical duties. By doing so you will keep the highway safe for all but especially our NHS, emergency services and other key workers.’’

The council will also be relaxing restrictions in residential areas to maximise the parking spaces available to residents. Timed restrictions in residential areas will be lifted so that residents can park on the road all day.

All valid parking permits and season tickets will be extended by one month. This will be reviewed after three weeks.