A petition to stop parking measures introduced in Marlow gathered more than 1,300 signatures at the weekend, as the mayor led the fight against the plans.
Cllr Jocelyn Towns led a team of councillors, members of the Marlow Society, the Marlow Chamber of Trade and Commerce and the Rotary Club of Marlow, who are all against the controversial proposals by Bucks County Council (BCC) to install pay-and-display machines in the High Street and surrounding roads, on Saturday.
Cllr Towns said: “It was so busy with people queuing up to sign that I had to buy more clipboards and pens to accommodate the numbers.”
More than 4,500 have signed the online petition, with businesses and residents hitting out at the plans, saying they will “destroy the shopping” in the town.
The council wants to charge people £1 per hour or 20p per 12 minutes in a bid to encourage more people to use off-street car parks, which are cheaper, to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
Cllr Towns added: “We want to show BCC that we really don’t want paid-for parking in Marlow because it will damage our vibrant and buzzy town.
“We have seen the impact of this on other towns – for example Henley – whose residents now come to Marlow to shop.”
She said the county council, along with Wycombe District Council, needs to review the parking strategy in Marlow.
She added: “It’s important that they work together with the town council to understand fully the severe parking limitations in the town.
“Developers should be required to provide enough parking spaces with new builds.
“We believe the local parking guidance is out of date and inaccurate, and needs to be changed. Let’s not make it difficult to come and shop.
“Retailers have had it hard enough with hugely increased business rates.”
Cllr Towns suggested a starting point could be to put decked parking in the Riley Road car park.
Source: Local Bucks