Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, aims to draw a line under struggling independent retailers by giving drivers a ‘grace period’ to park for free on double yellow lines.
The recent proposal, which will give customers 15 minute to park outside shops or keep their vehicles in parking bays for longer, has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses and has been seen as a boost to independents in Leighton Buzzard.
Manager of Methi Indian Restaurant on Bridge Street, Abdul Haque, known to friends as Ace, spoke up last month to vent his frustration over his customers being give fines for parking on double yellow lines as they picked up their takeaway.
Speaking to the LBO about Mr Pickles’ proposal, Ace said: “I think it is a brilliant idea.
“The amount of money the council is making from this is a joke.
“I have never said that I don’t want yellow lines there because people will take advantage, but something like this will mean they can stop outside the shop and pick up their takeaway without worrying about paying for parking or getting fined.
“I am all for it.”
Charles Smith, regional Chairman of the federation of small businesses, said: “Poor parking provision has a significant impact on our business. Proposing to allow motorists to park for free for 15 minutes on double-yellow lines is interesting and looks at ways to provide parking for businesses and consumers.
“We know that businesses have suffered because customers can’t stop outside to pop in for a loaf of bread or a pint of milk and choose instead to go to the supermarket.
“It would also make it easier for businesses to use high street services, such as the bank or Post Office too. This proposal highlights the need for a clear discussion about parking provision across the region and how to limit the use of parking fees and fines for financial gain.”