Users of Shepherds Spring Car Park will not be able to have four hours of free parking after a motion was defeated at Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

A motion, brought by Councillors David Coole and Christopher Ecclestone of the Andover Independents Party, had called for the car park to have four hours of free parking for all users to “mirror those of Romsey Rapids car park.”

However, the motion was rejected by a meeting of TVBC councillors on Wednesday, with only Andover Independents Party councillors voting for the motion.

Councillor Ecclestone said that the issue was not one of “Romsey versus Andover,” but rather an issue of bringing pricing and free parking into line.

He described the difference as “an anomaly,” saying: “Cllr Coole’s motion is to amend that anomaly and give the parkers using the town centre a fair deal that is equal to the fair deal being given elsewhere.”

Councillor John Parker, however said that he couldn’t find himself in a position to support the motion “unless there can be some evidence to demonstrate that there is a problem that this particular action would solve.”

Councillor Celia Dowden, meanwhile said that while she did not the support the motion at present, “there must be an opportunity to revisit this situation of parking generally” following the Andover Masterplan being implemented.

“When that happens…” she said, “then this may well be something that happens later. But it seems an inappropriate decision to go ahead with supporting this at this time.”

Councillors subsequently voted on the plans, with only Cllrs Coole, Ecclestone and Meyer voting for the proposals. Seven councillors abstained, with the rest voting against, leading to the motion being defeated.

Posting on Facebook following the vote, Cllr Ecclestone described the vote as a “pretty sad day.”