Parking time limits could be ‘disaster’ for Spalding traders

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TRADERS fear shoppers will be driven out of Spalding if parking time limits are strictly enforced.

And problems could be made worse if plans to turn one town centre car park into a park and bury another under a retail development move forward.

That is the fear of town publican Pete Williams, of Spalding’s Punchbowl in New Road, who says the extra pressure of getting back to the car within a time limit would be enough to drive some people over the edge and out of town.

He said: “Enforcing the time limits on on-street parking would result in people rushing around town to get their shopping done and not having the time to enjoy what the town has to offer, such as stopping for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake or just to window shop.

“It is enough to drive people away, particularly as towns in other areas are way ahead of us and offer things like free parking on market days to lure shoppers in.”

Mr Williams’ fears follow an announcement by Lincolnshire County Council that it is hoping to have up to 20 civil parking enforcement officers patrolling the streets of the county by autumn, when it hopes to have been granted approval from the Secretary of State to take over responsibility for parking enforcement from the police.

The enforcement officers would have similar powers to old-style traffic wardens, issuing penalty charge notices of up to £70 to those who outstay their welcome on roadside parking.

Although the council says there are no immediate plans for cars which are parked in one place too long to be clamped or towed, it has said that such measures could be considered in the future,

Mr Williams said: “That is quite likely the way things will go and it would be a disaster.

“If Victoria Street car park is turned into a green public space and the bus station car park is lost as part of the Holland Market development, there will be nowhere left for people to park for work.

“On one hand we don’t want those people parking their cars in two-hour spaces, but we need to come over as a people friendly place to come shopping without the fear of getting a ticket.”