RESIDENTS' parking in Swindon town centre, Old Town and Eastcott is set for a radical overhaul to tackle the chronic shortage of spaces.

Double yellow lines are likely to be removed in some areas, while residents will be able to leave their vehicles in public car parks overnight free of charge.

Permit holders currently have to pay to use a car park in their area at night.

A recommendation has also been put forward to stop developers who convert a building into flats from gaining permits for new occupants.

No Waiting At Any Time orders will also be applied to some backways to discourage cars from blocking drives.

The council says that the removal of yellow lines alone will add about another 300 spaces to the 3,300 resident parking places.

A Residents' Parking Advisory Group made up of elected members will also represent the wishes of locals. It is said to be one of the first of its kind in the country.

Once the group has had its first meeting they will look into the costs of removing the double yellow lines.

Coun Peter Greenhalgh (Con, Freshbrook and Grange Park), cabinet member for highways, transport and strategic planning, said: "With the increase in use of vehicles in the town, there is a considerable shortage of parking.

"These changes are a very positive step forward. There is always going to be a problem when you have more cars than spaces but the council is doing everything possible.

"It's not all going to happen tomorrow. It will be phased in. Hopefully, we can make a decision about car parks fairly rapidly. The double yellow lines will take slightly longer."

The Halcrow report, which examined the shortage of car parking, went before the council's cabinet at the Civic Offices last week.

Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Nythe) said: "The report has been a long time coming but we have taken a planned and measured approach and have some practical solutions.

"My opinion is that the advisory group will have the biggest impact on residents' parking in the town. Allowing people to use car parks at night is a quick and easy win to increase capacity at night when there is an issue.

"We've also been able to find an extra 10 per cent from removing yellow lines where it is safe to do so."

Dean Street will be among the roads where some yellow lines are likely to go.