Shoppers show their opposition to charges

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HUNDREDS of shoppers have already shown their opposition to pay and display parking on town centre streets by adding their names to a survey launched by a trader with “a bee in her bonnet”.

Julie Grant, a partner in Butters workwear and outdoor leisure shop in New Road, Spalding, has distributed questionnaires to almost 40 town centre independent traders asking for their customers’ views on a recommendation to charge for on-street parking.

The plans were due to go before the Highways Transport and Technology Scrutiny Committee of Lincolnshire County Council last night and if agreed by members would still have to go out to public consultation, but Mrs Grant fears the proposal could already be a “done deal” and could spell disaster for the town.

She said: “I have got a real bee in my bonnet about this because I don’t want to see the town folding, which I think it would do. If people had to pay to park on the streets it would come to a dead stop.

“I am not going to stand by and see that happen and I am interested in what other people think.

“I have a feeling, and from what I have seen already I am right, that the majority of people don’t want this.”

She intends to leave the surveys out until late next week and will then share her findings with the Spalding and district area Chamber of Commerce before its AGM at the beginning of July.

Jason Rooke, president of the Spalding Chamber, confirmed parking charges would be on the agenda.

He said he believes enforcing limited waiting times in on-street parking bays is the way forward, and in previous discussions some members have said they would be willing to volunteer their time to administer such a scheme, if practical.

He said: “The consensus is that there is often a lack of parking in the town centre, and a significant contributor to this is people using street parking for the whole day whilst at work.

We feel that the solution is to ensure that limited time parking is effectively enforced.”

nSee your letters on this subject on pages 4 and 5.