A NEW 'great value' car park has opened in Wimborne.

National Car Parks has opened a new site with 'fantastic low rates' next to Redcotts Park in Wimborne town centre.

The car park is £0.45 for up to one hour, £1.35 for up to three hours and £3.95 for up to 24 hours.

Paul Mannell is an acquisitions manager at National Car Parks (NPC).

In a post uploaded to social media, Paul said: "Calling all local Wimborne businesses, commuters, and workers.

"Your new NCP car park opens on Tuesday 26th March at Redcotts Lane with fantastic low rates.

"£0.45 per hour or all-day parking for just £3.95. Available on the NCP App."

The car park is cash-free and operates using the NCP app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

The decision for the site to be app-only has sparked some controversy on social media, with residents saying that using an app to park isn't inclusive as many people don't have access to smartphones.

One resident said: "Some people aren't privileged enough to have smartphones, some aren't tech-savvy, and I only use cash.

"It's just a car park, and the world is app mad."

"By the time you faffed about with apps, you will no doubt have a ticket," added another resident. 

In response to residents' feedback, Paul said, "The car park is manually patrolled, so you won't be automatically issued a ticket for abusing the site.

"In fact, I prefer to leave a kind message on a windscreen if someone has forgotten to buy a ticket, reminding them to purchase one before midnight the same day.

"This avoids annoying anyone with penalties and helps build brand loyalty.

"Can't say fairer than that."

A spokesperson for NCP added: "NCP has really appreciated the local response and feedback to our newly opened site and is committed to securing quality, effective sites to serve our customers.

"We very much hope to expand on this relationship in this area."

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: “This was a free car park for Nat West customers before the bank closed. It contains a small number of spaces - NCP’s website states 9 spaces. 

"There are no plans to change our current parking tariffs in our car parks, and we continue to accept cash and card in addition to app payments."