Campaigners angry about parking restrictions for shoppers in St Annes are ready to take their fight to the heart of Westminster.
More than 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for a number of measures to improve the parking experience for drivers in St Annes, including extending on-street time limits from one hour to two.
The petition has been presented to Fylde Council, which controls off-street parking, and is set to be discussed next month, while Lancashire County Council, which is responsible for on-street rules, has also been asked to consider the matter.
But the men behind the campaign – St Annes Chamber of Trade co-ordinator Arnold Sumner and businessman Andrew Smith – also intend to make the Government’s communities supremo, Eric Pickles MP, aware of the response to the call for greater flexibility for drivers in a bid to boost trade.
“We intend to make Mr Pickles aware of the strength of feeling,” said Mr Sumner.
Mr Smith said the objective of the campaign was to bring about an integrated parking system which would suit the needs of everyone.
“While we were gathering signatures, I met a woman who was in tears because she said she just wasn’t quick enough to do her errands and get back to her car inside an hour,” he said. “That can’t be right.”
But one trader, Clarke Foulds of FM Electrical Solutions, said he had actually been attracted to Orchard Road by large turnover of drivers because of the one-hour limit in place there.
Earlier this year, campaigners claimed St Annes was in danger of being turned into a “ghost town” because of the ongoing row over parking.
The petition urges three actions – to remove a series of double yellow lines across the town, to restrict the existing central car parks to two hours and be either more affordable or free and finally to extend on-road parking to two hours.