St Annes traders’ representatives have called on businesses and shoppers to do all they can to ensure longer on-street time limits are here to stay.
The long-awaited extended limits in St Annes town centre came into effect last weekend, with the maximum wait increased from 60 to 90 minutes for an experimental 18-month period.
It is a change which has already been greeted as ‘the best Christmas present we could have wished for’ by the town’s Chamber of Trade, which has been campaigning for more than 10 years for the hour limits to be doubled to give drivers time to browse and shop.
Chamber officials were shocked when a parking consultation, carried out at a cost of £50,000, initially suggested the limits should stay as they were.
But after a further concerted plea direct to highways boss Coun John Fillis, the experimental extension to 90 minutes was announced.
Coun Fillis said: “Within experimental orders, there is provision to allow alteration of the order within the first six months to take into account any operational difficulties subsequently encountered.
“If at the end of the 18-month period the trial is found to be unsuccessful then a permanent order will not be made and previous existing restrictions will come back into force.”
Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham told the Chamber’s latest meeting: “It will allow for more browsing time and make a key difference for customers but it is vital that everyone tells the county council what they think about it to try and ensure the experiment is a success and we don’t go back to 60 minutes. The more businesses and members of the public can let the county council have feedback on this, the better.”
Chamber of Trade co-ordinator Arnold Sumner said: “It would be good if the limit could be hopefully extended to two hours eventually – but this a very welcome first step”
County Coun Fabian Craig-Wilson, who represents St Annes South, said: “St Annes traders have waited a long time for these new limits, so I am very grateful the scheme has finally come to fruition.”