Parking fees a blow for traders

Angry Fleetwood traders with a notice of the parking changes. From left: Linda Jackson, Helen Taylor and Karl Jones
Angry Fleetwood traders with a notice of the parking changes. From left: Linda Jackson, Helen Taylor and Karl Jones

SHOPKEEPERS which have suffered badly from the effects of tramworks have been dealt a new blow – a parking nightmare.

After months of low takings because of work on the new supertram service, business owners on Fleetwood’s Esplanade now face new parking restrictions in the area.

A previous stretch of around 200 yards of unrestricted parking will be left with just 60 metres of parking – and a two-hour limit if Lancashire County Council gets its way.

Helen Taylor of Glazey Days pottery studio said it could hit their attempts to revive business after the tramway work had ended.

She said: “Most of the shops have written to object. The parking spaces are extremely well-used.

“Lot of people choose to come here rather than the town centre because of the parking.

“I don’t know how long they have planned this, but we didn’t find out about it until the notices went up a few days ago.

“In the whole area round here and the hospital it’s difficult to find parking spaces.

“I have asked what alternative parking they are going to provide.

“They are making the situation worse.

“There has always been good parking here: now it’s going to be a big problem.”

She added: “I feel like I have lied to people saying it’s going to be fine when the tram work is finished.”

The traders are also concerned about where they will park when they are at their premises all day.

A public notice near the shops says the proposals are to “address concern due to the construction of the new tram stop, improved bus stop facilities and signalisation and junction improvements.”

Linda Jackson of Quay Cuts gents’ hairdressers said: “I have a lot of disabled people who come here because it’s a wide pavement and it’s easy for them, but this isn’t going to help at all.

People come because it’s free parking and easy access.”

At the Fotoxcel studio, Karl Jones said: “All you can say is it’s a complete joke.”

Anna Stefani of the Ferry Cafe said: “Free parking is the only asset that Fleetwood has left. It could be a two-edged sword.

“Sometimes we have people who go fishing and they park at seven or eight in the morning and stay until tea time so it might stop them.”

No-one from the county council was available for comment.