Public rallies behind town parking bid

Arnold Sumner and Andrew Smith outside a town centre shop with the petitions.
Arnold Sumner and Andrew Smith outside a town centre shop with the petitions.

A campaign by two Fylde business leaders to improve town centre parking in St Annes has been backed overwhelmingly by residents – with more than 2,000 people signing a petition so far.

Last week it was revealed Arnold Sumner and Andrew Smith had received close to 200 signatures from business owners in the town up in arms about poor parking, which they fear could turn the area into a “ghost town”.

A second petition was then launched for the public and placed on shop counters throughout the town centre.

Now more than 2,000 signatures have been received in just a few days.

Andrew said: “The people we met were so eager to make their voices heard that
we immediately returned to the shops and cafés with this new, public version of the petition.”

Suggestions put forward by the pair to solve what they believe to be a crisis include the removal of double-yellow lines, restricting some car parks to two hours and making them cheaper or free, and increasing on-street parking to two hours.

John Moxham, chairman of the St Annes Chamber of Trade said: “We urge everyone to add their voices to this debate. We live in a democracy. Let’s be heard.”

The pair hope to deliver the petitions to St Annes Town Council, Fylde Council, Lancashire County Council, secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles MP and high street guru Mary Portas.

Traders have been calling for changes to the parking scheme in the town for years, but all appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

Fylde Council has previously said it is aware of the concerns around parking in the town.

Petition aims to end parking ‘nightmare’

The petition urges three actions.

Firstly, it asks to remove a series of double yellow lines across the town. Secondly, it aims to restrict the existing central car parks to two hours and be either more affordable or free, and finally it wants to extend on-road parking to two hours.

Andrew Smith added: “If my ancestors – who were among the founders of St Annes – could see the decline in their beloved ‘jewel of the north’, they would be turning in their graves.”

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