AN ONLINE petition fighting plans to introduce on-street car parking charges in Ambleside is gathering support.

Created by Lakes county councillor Heidi Halliday, the petition has received nearly 300 signatures in one day.

Cumbria County Council are expected to rubberstamp plans to introduce on-street parking at a meeting next month.

But the move has been blasted amid claims it will drive business away from the town centre.

The petition states: “I strongly urge you to seriously reconsider and understand the very real financial damage to Ambleside's economy the introduction of on-street parking charges will bring.

“This decision also effects people living in the outlying areas such as Rydal, Grasmere and Langdale, people who need to come into Ambleside to access services.

“On-street parking charges will have an adverse effect on the community, both businesses and residents.

“The proposal to introduce on-street car parking charges to Ambleside will have an effect on the viability of the local shops who will also have to compete with a Sainsburys store.

“Shoppers faced with a charge to buy a loaf of bread and a pint of milk will instead use Sainsburys with their free parking facility.

“I cannot and will not support the introduction of charging when it is potentially going to cost peoples jobs and livelihoods.”

Streets in Ambleside included in the proposal are: Cheapside, Church Street, Compston Road, Compston Street, Kelsick Road, King Street, Knott Street, Market Place, Vicarage Road and Waterhead.

Matthew F. commented on the petition: “The one hour parking in Ambleside has worked effectively for years. It works for locals. Works for tourists. There's always a spot somewhere as the cars are moved every hour.

“This is a bad decision for the local economy and for quality of life.”

Andrew B. added: "I live in Langdale and run an online business, this means I visit the Post Office in Ambleside every day, spending several pounds there per year, and also picking up milk & bread too.

"With these parking charges I will switch to the Coniston Post Office."

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The council has agreed to introduce charging for on-street parking as part of the budget for 2014/15 which was subject to a lengthy public consultation.

“Nearly every other local authority in the country charges motorists to park in high-demand locations.

“In a climate where the council is losing one pound in every four we used to have to spend, we need to cover our costs in enforcing parking restrictions.

“Revenue generated from on-street parking charges will be used to pay for effective enforcement. It can also mean smoother traffic flows, more availability of parking in the highest demand areas and benefits for businesses through an increase in available spaces.”

Sign the petition at: