The high-profile defeat of plans to enforce expensive parking charges across Westminster last month has sparked a spate of anti-parking campaigns.
The proposal to introduce charges of £4.40 an hour for street parking on evenings and Sundays had been met with a storm of protest from local traders, churchgoers and residents in Westminster.
Announcing the demise of the plans, Councillor Colin Barrow, who has since resigned, said the council would now need to “think long and hard” about how it managed traffic in the West End. “It’s clear that these specific proposals did not command public support,” he added.
Last week more than 500 local residents and traders attended a heated public meeting on proposed new parking charges in Haslemere, Surrey. Surrey County Council wants to install 14 ticket machines in the town. The plans would destroy the town’s character and harm its thriving independent retailing community, protesters said.
And in Hove, East Sussex, traders brought traffic to a standstill last week in protest at plans to increase parking charges on the seafront from £3 for three hours to £10, as well as to raise parking permit fees.
Meanwhile, in Bridport, Dorset, calls are being made for an urgent parking shake-up to help local shops trade more successfully. Retailers are calling for free parking on market days, and more sites - including schools - to be opened up as public car parks on weekends.
The need for affordable town centre parking was a key recommendation in Mary Portas’ High Street Review. In a recent survey, the Federation of Small Businesses found that 50% of its members said the lack of affordable town centre parking had a detrimental effect on their business.