Retailers in the Dorset town of Beaminster are hoping to keep trade alive with the launch of a new ‘parking lottery’.

It is hoped that the scheme will incentivise shoppers to keep visiting the town while the tunnel and the main A3066 road is closed for repairs.

Each week, shoppers who enter their parking tickets in the draw stand to win £200 worth of vouchers to spend in local shops.

“It only costs 30 pence an hour to park in Beaminster so it is great value and great odds,” said Nigel Reeve, head of Beaminster and District Business Chamber.

“We are hoping it will help boost trade as people will have a very real chance of winning a valuable prize every week from January to the end of June 2013.

West Dorset District Council took the decision to launch the scheme, set to cost £8,000, because of concerns over the effect of the long-term tunnel closure for repairs.

The first draw is set to take place on January 7.