CHANGES to parking restrictions in Barnards Green have been tabled in a bid to boost trade.
Conservative councillors Melanie Baker and Lucy Hodgson who represent the area have held talks with traders to address concerns.
The proposals include retaining the one-hour restriction in the main shopping area and introducing several free two-hour on-street parking areas just outside.
The car park on Geraldine Road would be upgraded from short to medium stay with the two hour parking cap doubled to four hours.
Coun Baker, district councillor for the Chase, said retail guru Mary Portas had referred to Barnards Green as an exceptional shopping area in her independent review of high streets.
“It has a popular butcher, baker, cheese shop, hairdressers, café and much more.
“They are family-run shops owned by traders who never cease to amaze with their innovation, resilience and total commitment to providing the best shopping experience possible.
“When local traders approached us we were only too happy to lend our support and input. I believe we have submitted a well thought-out parking plan and one which is backed by the traders.”
Coun Hodgson, county councillor for the area, added: “With difficult trading conditions, it is important we recognise what is happening in Barnards Green and respond accordingly. I believe if our proposal is approved by all parties it will give a variety of choices for shoppers.
“This is a prime example of councillors and traders working together to provide a joint solution which supports business, the local economy and encourages trade.”
Jane Knowles, owner of Just So, welcomed the move.
“All traders in Barnards Green work hard to deliver a convenient, varied and vibrant shopping area for customers.
“If approved the new parking arrangements will give people much improved parking options. It will allow them to linger for longer so they can pop in to buy a card or sandwich, visit the butchers and bakers, spend longer having their hair done and have lunch in the café. It’s potentially a great solution for all.”
The proposal was due to be discussed by the district council executive committee as the Observer went to press