The first shoppers to use the new Lincoln Central car park off St Mary’s Street will get a bumper 12 hours of free parking.
The first four floors of the car park will open two months ahead of schedule on November 17.
At midday, more than 630 of the car park’s 1,000 spaces will be open to the public – all free up until midnight.
Hundreds of people will gather in the city centre later that day for the annual switch-on of the city’s Christmas lights (7pm), as well as the first late night shopping event.
The new car park is part of City of Lincoln Council’s £30 million Transport Hub project which, along with the new car park, includes a state-of-the-art bus station, improvements to the city’s railway station forecourt, a new access for vehicles into the railway station car park and pedestrian plaza linking Sincil Street and High Street to the railway station.
Once fully complete, the car park will offer 1,000 parking spaces. The council said its contractor Willmott Dixon is working seven days a week to ensure the entire car park is open in time for the start of Lincoln Christmas Market on December 7 (weather permitting).
The first phase of the opening will include the ground, first, second and third floors, with floors four and five expected to open shortly afterwards.
This will give the city an extra 630 car parking spaces in phase one, with a further 370 coming on line in phase two.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: “We’ve pulled out all the stops to get the car park open in time for the Christmas Lights switch-on and the start of the festive shopping season.
“Due to recent adverse weather the top two floors need a little longer to complete as they are open to the elements, however, we expect this to be complete before the start of our Christmas Market.”
The new car park includes 12 EV charging points for electric vehicles as well as providing disabled car parking spaces at ground and first floor level.
There will also be passenger lifts leading out into the Sincil Street and High Street areas and to the bus and railway stations.
The Hub project is being built by Willmott Dixon and is backed by £13 million of funding from The Department of Transport and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The scheduled opening date for the new bus station will now be in January, 2018. The current temporary bus station will remain open until the new one is operational.