THE number of on-street parking spaces in the centre of Bolton will almost double under an ‘experimental’ project.

A total of 41 new parking bays will be created by reconfiguring the existing parking provisions around Bolton Town Hall.

Rather than cars parking parallel to the kerb in Le Mans Crescent, the spaces will be perpendicular to the kerb.

Extra spaces are also being added on Victoria Square, as well as Howell Croft South and North.

The extra bays are being created as part of an ‘experimental traffic order’ and will be reviewed in six months’ time.

Bolton Council’s cabinet member for highways, Cllr David Chadwick, said: “We are creating additional spaces having reviewed parking in the civic centre.

“The inner core of the town centre is well served by the Octagon multi-storey car park but there is always a demand for on street spaces.

“The number of parking bays will increase by more than two thirds.

“With Christmas around the corner and all the developments underway, we are sure these additional spaces will be welcomed.”

The total number of bays in Victoria Square, Le Mans Crescent and Howell Croft South and North, will increase from 54 to 92. Currently there are 14 disabled bays and that number will increase to 18.

Work started on adding the new parking bays on Thursday and is expected to finish in the next week.

It was also announced this week that free parking after 3pm will return to the multi-storey car parks at the Octagon, Deane Road and Topp Way.

The offer will begin from next Thursday, coinciding with the switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights and late night shopping, and will run until Friday, January 5.

Free weekend and Bank Holiday parking is already offered at the three busy NCP car parks.

The council first introduced a free parking scheme in November, 2012, before free weekend and Bank Holiday parking was then introduced in May, 2013.