TRADERS fear it could take up to a year to change a 15-minute parking restriction on their street which they believe will severely affect business.
Allan Smith from Aspect Design said more than a 1,000 people had signed petitions to review the time limit on Newtown Road and called for a new restriction of up to an hour.
The current restriction which only allows 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday with no return within an hour has never been properly applied however that is set to change after the district council’s civil enforcement team took on responsibility for parking regulations yesterday (Tuesday).
Mr Smith said: “We’ve been here for 35 years and nobody has ever got a ticket and basically people have let it ride.
“But 15 minutes doesn’t give people enough time to visit more than one shop, choose a carpet or get your hair done.
“Our business is book publishing and you can’t do that in 15 minutes.
“The street isn’t struggling, we’ve got some well established businesses, but anybody who just passes by won’t stop if they see its 15 minutes only.
“Nobody is saying it should be limitless, that would be detrimental. But it should be 45 minutes to an hour.
“The district council and county council agree but it is getting the wheels in motion which is now the issue.”
He added nearby free car parks were always full during the day due to events going on at Holy Trinity Church and claimed Great Malvern in general had a wider problem with a lack of parking in the town.
John Raine, county councillor for Malvern Trinity, said traders had a right to be concerned and he was working hard to speed up the process of reviewing the restriction.
He added that there should have been a full appraisal and consultation on all of the parking limits in Malvern before the new enforcement team came into effect.
“I was expecting it to happen. It would have been a good opportunity to look at all the signs and lines to make sure they were fit for purpose.”
A spokeswoman from county council, which is responsible for highways rules including parking restrictions, said a review had taken place in recent months but only to assess their condition rather than to make any changes or amendments.
“We are aware that, while perfectly correct, some of the 15 minute waiting time restrictions are now unsuitable for current circumstances.
“We are working with local county councillors to identify and address this issue.
“The formal process however, involves consultation with stakeholders such as West Mercia Police, district council and ultimately local residents, and can take between six and 12 months depending on whether there are any objections.”