Almost two thirds of Market Rasen business owners say controversial parking charges - introduced by West Lindsey District Council - will harm their long-term prospects.
That’s the result of an independent survey carried out by campaigner Guy Grainger who says he has spoken to more than 50 business bosses in the town since the charges were introduced at WLDC’s car parks on January 30.
According to Mr Grainger, 62 per cent of the owners surveyed said the charges would ‘worsen their long-term prospects’.
Mr Grainger said business owners have also reported changes in customer behaviour regarding the time of day they visit their premises and where they choose to park.
One trader also reported shoppers were trying to use his private car park in order to avoid paying parking charges.
According to the results, 36 per cent of businesses reported a decline in footfall in their premises while 64 per cent reported no change. Significantly, none reported an improvement.
While 62 per cent of businesses reported concerns about their prospects, 38 per cent believe the parking charges will make ‘no difference’.
Again, none believe their prospects will be improved.
One business owner, who did not want to be named, said the introduction of charges had ‘taken away’ the town’s ‘unique free parking’ which was previously a major selling point.
Another business owner said; “I don’t think there is enough in Market Rasen to warrant parking charges.
“Shops are closing down all the time.”
WLDC have defended the charges which will be reviewed in June.
The authority also says it is planning on-going investment in Market Rasen.