TRADERS in Carleton have told of their fears at proposed changes to parking tariffs in the village.
Many of the businesses, and the doctors practice, along Poulton Road and Blackpool Road fear changing arrangements in the car park of the Castle Gardens pub will put off their customers.
Under new proposals the pub’s parking spaces will become pay and display with customers being able to redeem the cost of parking against their bill in the pub. The 30 parking spaces reserved for shoppers, marked with a ‘P’ and leased by Wyre Borough Council, would remain free.
But it is feared the ‘stigma’ of the car park being pay and display in parts will deter people from visiting the village, or make parking difficult for patients visiting the nearby doctor’s practice.
Miranda Mellor-Livesey, manager of Carleton Practice, said: “It will affect access to the surgery because our patients use it and rely on it.
“We have a lot of elderly patients and they could find it difficult or might not know that parts are pay and display and others aren’t.”
Catherine Fleming, who works at the Salt of the Earth deli, believes the car park changes will have a detrimental effect on businesses.
She said: “We’re a village community and we all work as a team.
“The car park is an integral part, Carleton wouldn’t function without it.”
The group of businesses fear pub customers will take the free parking spaces to avoid ‘hassle’, taking them away from their customers.
Graham Wood, owner of H.Wood Upholsterers and Furnishings, said: “It will make trade difficult.
“I can see why everyone is concerned.”
Ember Inns, which owns the Castle Gardens, are said to feel that shoppers are abusing the parking facilities of the pub and taking away spaces from pub customers.
A letter sent to the businesses read: “Sadly our car park is abused by some people and this is at the detriment to our guests.”
A spokesperson for Ember Inns said: “We would like to review the car park agreement with the council and how the car park is used.
“No final decisions have been taken and our manager has been very open with local people about the review.
“A meeting has been arranged to have a discussion about the car park and understand everyone’s concerns and requirements.”
The meeting is to be held at 10am tomorrow morning at the Castle Gardens pub in Carleton.