A band of independent retailers in Katesgrove, Reading, are demanding that five vital parking spaces in-front of their stores be re-instated after the council replaced them with an unwanted loading bay.

The group handed over a petition signed by hundreds of local people at a meeting of Reading Borough Council’s Traffic Management Advisory Panel (TMAP) last week.

They claim that the restriction, which prohibits people parking between 10am and 1pm, was put there without any warning.

Campaign leader Asam Aziz said the restriction was preventing people from doing quick top up shops, and harming sales in a number of the street’s stores.

Some of the retailers who use their private cars for visits to the cash and carry had also received parking tickets while unloading in the new loading bay, local councillor Rebecca Rye told local newspaper Get Reading.

 “All the shops along there are local independent businesses and therefore deliveries are by their own cars and small vans. They don’t have large lorries or juggernauts delivering. All the shops I have visited are backing this petition as its affecting them. It’s important we protect the livelihood of local small businesses,” she added.

The retailers suspect that the loading bay may be related to Tesco’s aspirations to open an Express store on the street. Plans for a new Tesco Express were defeated earlier this year.

A report responding to the petition will be presented to the TMAP meeting in January 2013.