Free parking has come to an end in Cornwall Council car parks as of today as traffic wardens also return fully to the streets.

The council announced a fortnight ago that parking charges would be re-introduced on Monday, June 1 and this has now come into effect.

The only exception is for NHS and health and social care staff, and critical care volunteers, who will continue to be allowed to park in car parks without payment.

To qualify they will need to display the permit provided by their NHS Trust and if using a pay on exit car park use the intercom on arrival and when leaving.

The council introduced free parking at the start of the lockdown period, to support health and care workers in their jobs and to encourage people to stay at home by not worrying about parking.

It said it was now reintroducing car parking charges "like many local authorities" as coronavirus lockdown measures started to ease.

Tariffs will remain at 2019 levels and not increase with inflation this year, as was originally planned.

Free evening parking in most council car parks will continue, as will flexible pay and park options during the day.

Those using car parks are encouraged to pay via the JustPark App, a touchless system using your own mobile phone.

There is also an option to buy batches of reduced rate parking sessions via JustPark.

The council said: "Buying reduced rate parking sessions significantly cuts the cost of parking – in Truro for example, the cost of parking all day in a council car park using a batch session is just £2.26 for a 24 hour stay. "The batch sessions are available to purchase for most long stay car parks.

"As a further incentive to make these batch sessions more affordable in the current climate, we have reduced the minimum purchase cost of these batches from £47 to £25."

Councillor Geoff Brown, cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “Car parks have an important role in managing the demand on our highway network and as lockdown measures begin to ease and residents return to work, now is the time to reintroduce charging.

“From June 1 our civil enforcement officers will also be back to full capacity, helping to keep routes clear for emergency service vehicles, as well as preventing traffic hazards.

"Initially they will continue to provide help and guidance about where people can and cannot park.

"A carefully phased reintroduction of previously relaxed traffic/parking management and enforcement is necessary to help manage a safe and controlled recovery.”