An idea dreamed up by a former Marlborough councillor could soon save a fortune for people looking for a parking space.

Martin Houlden, 39, who set up the website of the Friends of Savernake Hospital, came up with the ParkShare idea because of commuters in Marlborough clogging streets with their parked cars.

Mr Houlden, who lived in Stonebridge Close, Marlborough, until moving to live in Bournemouth just over a year ago launched the scheme as an online business this week.

His business is based on the simple principle that many people have empty drives when the space could be rented out to someone who works nearby.

Motoring groups estimate the average cost of parking a car has risen by 12.5 percent in the past 12 months and will keep on rising.

ParkShare connects people with empty driveways or garages and commuters who need to park a car, but would rather not use an expensive car park.

Homeowners can advertise their parking space while commuters can advertise for a space to rent, on Registration is free and ParkShare only takes its ten cent per cent commission when a deal is struck.

Mr Houlden, a web designer, reckons homeowners can earn up to £300 a month while drivers could save 50 per cent in parking fees.

He said: “I’d like to see a commuter cutting the grass or clearing the gutters of an elderly homeowner in exchange for a parking space, even if it means I don’t earn commission from the deal.”

Mr Houlden said he came up with the idea after complaints from voters in Marlborough about workers clogging their streets with vehicles to avoid parking charges.

He said: “A lot of people who live in the town actually work away from home, leaving driveways, garages and allocated parking spaces empty all day. “Meanwhile, there are a lot of office and retail workers who drive into town and need somewhere to park.

The idea has been rolled out to cover the whole of the UK, as well as the US, Canada, Germany and France with iPhone owners being able to a parking space wherever they are thanks the sites’ app.