CONCERNED traders are calling for more free parking spaces to help bring customers back to a Wyre town.
Business owners in Poulton say the lack of free parking has had a negative effect on footfall in the market town.
And this has had a knock-on effect on traders, many of who are having to shut up shop.
George McCaffer, owner of The Market Hall, Poulton, said he has asked the council for more free parking spaces for several years.
He added: “When I first started complaining about free parking I did mention shops would be closing and it is happening now.
“The rates they are losing from these shops shutting must finally outweigh the money they are taking from the car parks – there must be a line drawn somewhere.
“Footfall is dwindling, people will not choose to shop in Poulton because they have to add on the parking fee to any items they purchase during their trip.”
A residents’ parking permit is available to anyone living in Wyre which allows drivers to park once per day free of charge for up to two hours in one of nine designated car parks.
But local, Evina Davis said this was too restrictive and would not attract shoppers from outside the area.
She said: “People often go to the shop and get home to realise they have forgotten something, in that case you would have to pay to park.”
But Wyre Coun Barry Birch said he recognised there was an issue with car parking in Poulton.
He said: “We are in negotiations with businesses in the area.
“Car parking provides a revenue stream and the government requires we replace that stream and that puts the council in a difficult position.”