Grantham traders and county council officials have met to discuss parking issues which critics say are destroying business in Westgate.
Business owners in Westgate and Market Place say confusing loading and parking bays in the area, together with ‘overzealous’ parking wardens, are putting off customers and making it difficult for traders to stock their shops.
Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, met with traders, highways manager Mark Heaton and parking services manager Mick Phoenix on Monday.
John Kidd, of greengrocer Buster’s Blooms, told the meeting his trade has gone down a third since new parking restrictions were put in place in the last six months. He said: “We have got such heavy loads we need to park on the pavement. The parking wardens don’t give us enough time to park in the loading bay. They only give us five to 10 minutes to unload the vehicle.”
A petition containing more than 800 signatures calling for restrictions to be eased to make it easier for traders to load and unload was collected by David Eggleston, of Tuffies Discount Store, and handed to Coun Davies on Monday.
Traders have also said that disabled customers have been ticketed for parking outside shops and delivery drivers are being put off because they fear getting a ticket.
But Mr Phoenix told the meeting that disabled drivers can park for as long as they wish in parking and loading bays and traders can take as long as they need to load and unload their goods in a loading bay. He promised to discuss this with the parking enforcement company.
Coun Davies said he felt it was a case of making the parking enforcement rules “crystal clear” to traders and customers. He said he would be delivering fliers to traders explaining how parking restrictions work in Westgate.