Motorists visiting Manchester to do their Christmas shopping will be able to carry on searching for bargains by topping up their parking by phone.
A new 'cashless parking' system comes into effect on city centre on-street bays from Friday November 18, enabling motorists to extend their stay up to the maximum period if their visit goes on longer than expected.
To use the cashless system, motorists simply call the local number written on the meter from their mobiles and follow the instructions to register their payment card.
Calls to the number, 0161 714 0140, will be charged at the same rate as other local calls.
Once registered, motorists will be able to pay simply by calling the number and using a password.
They will also be able to call their number to extend their stay if they realise they need to stay in the city centre for longer.
Motorists can also pay using text message, mobile phone app, or mobile internet.
The system, operated by Pay By Phone with Manchester City Council, is already being used in towns and cities including London, Newcastle and Birmingham, as well as in busy tourist spots such as York, Lincoln and in car parks across the Lake District.
The cashless system has been brought in as part of a range of other changes to the city centre's parking service, including extending the hours of operation to 8am-8pm seven days a week.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment, said: "The new cashless parking system will let people stay for longer in town if they're in a meeting which goes on longer than expected or need a bit more time to do their Christmas shopping.
"Of course, motorists can still use cash in all our meters if that's what they prefer, but this will provide an alternative which for some people will be much more convenient."
Robin Bevan, Commercial CEO from PayByPhone, said "We are looking forward to working with Manchester City Council to deliver a cashless parking service that will bring valuable benefits to local customers and retailers."
For more information, visit www.paybyphone.co.uk/faq.