BUSINESS leaders say parking restrictions are crippling trade and are calling for urgent action to help struggling shops.
Arnold Sumner, co-ordinator of St Annes Chamber of Trade, says a one-hour limit in Park Road, Orchard Road and other streets is simply not enough time for visitors to spend cash.
He said calls for an extension had been ignored by Lancashire County Council for five years.
He added: “We’re concerned about the delay of action from Lancashire County Council in regard to our requests for up to two hours on-street parking.
“All we have is a letter informing us it will consider our request before the spring 2012. This is too late for many. In Orchard Road alone four shops are either closed, closing or intending to close.
“People park up and go for a coffee and that’s their time up - there’s no time to actually shop.”
Penny Mercer, owner of The Grind skate shop in Orchard Road, said: “I’m closing for a number of reasons. I’ve had enough. The parking is a major problem.
“The footfall has gone down a lot in the time I’ve been here.
“The problem is The Square is so wide. You get an elderly person parking here and needing to get to the bank on the other side of the road and it can take them an hour just to do that if there’s a queue.”
Matt Warhurst of Apple Bikes added: “You just don’t have enough time to visit the shops you need to with an hour.”
But county hall cabinet member for highways, County Coun Tim Ashton said: “We’re spending £50,000 on the back of the Open Golf coming to improve signage to Lytham and St Annes.
“We’re consulting now with St Annes Chamber of Trade, Lytham Action Group, St Annes Town Council and the district council on that and we want to see the results before we change the parking.
“Only then will we look at the parking restrictions in that area.”