Market traders renew fight to reinstate four-hour parking at Saffron Walden Common

Residents sign the petition for the return of the four-hour parking tariff on Saffron Walden Common

Residents sign the petition for the return of the four-hour parking tariff on Saffron Walden Common - Credit: Archant

Market traders and retailers say they will continue to fight the council over parking times at Saffron Walden Common and have renewed their petition for a return to a four-hour maximum stay.

Following pressure from businesses and traders in April, Uttlesford District Council (UDC) backed down on their original decision to halve the times at the car park - from four to two hours - and settled on a compromise of three.

But the town’s traders do not accept the compromise and have vowed to continue their campaign to reinstate the four-hour tariff.

A petition of 1,855 signatures was presented to the council at a cabinet meeting on May 26, on behalf of the town’s businesses and traders, urging the council to reconsider its decision.

UDC say they believe the balance of parking in the town is right, but will review the situation in around 12 months time.

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Jacqui Portway, market trader, said: “We are carrying on with the petition as we fundamentally believe that the four hours parking on the common is vital to commercial viability.

“We do not believe that UDC has the right balance on parking in the town, and we are prepared to fight this all the way. The poor elderly people cannot walk from Swan Meadow, and need the extra time.

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“The council is determined that we are not going to get it back to four hours, but decisions like this could potentially cave this community in.

“I’ve been working on this market for 30 years, and I know it inside out. It’s time they started listening to people’s opinions.”

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, councillor Howard Rolfe, leader of UDC, said: “I fully understand there has been a strong reaction from the very people we were trying to support.

“Retailers feel that two hours will inhibit business and, as a consequence, we increased the time from two to three hours, which is in-line with Fairycroft.

“We think that this is the right balance. We will review our position in around 12 months time.”

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