A NEW campaign group has formed to oppose the introduction of parking meters to Lake District town centres from this autumn.
Supporters have distributed posters and flyers in Windermere and Ambleside this week advertising a public meeting.
It hopes to block plans by Cumbria County Council to install new parking rules across the two towns.
One campaigner, Windermere-based Susan Wales, claimed retailers feel ‘angry, upset’ and ‘let down’.
The cash-strapped authority is imposing on-street parking charges on ‘busy high-streets and high-demand areas’.
It will spend £300,000 on installations.
However, before any meters go in, it first has to implement new Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) following consultations with residents and businesses.
The county council has to save £70 million between now and 2017 which is attributes to government cuts as well as having to raise more revenue for services.
It also believes charging for on-street parking is the ‘right long-term solution for a county like Cumbria’ and would mean ‘smoother traffic flows, more parking in high demand areas and claimed benefits for businesses ‘through an increase in available spaces.’
However, the newly-formed Windermere and Bowness Action Group disagree.
It has arranged a public meeting - 7pm for a 7.30pm start at the Ladyholme Centre in Lake Road Windermere on Thursday June 5.
Among those involved in the group are members of Windermere Town Council, Windermere ‘Shop Doctor’ and former town mayor Bill Smith; Adrian Legge of Windermere and Bowness Civic Society, and local traders.
Windermere resident Dr Robert Judson said there was a lot of ‘anger’ to TROs coming in on Birthwaite Road and Phoneix Way.
Susan Wales said they were expecting a large turnout for the meeting and encouraged people to go along.
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“I think people have had enough of these ever increasing charges to park,” said Ms Wales.
“Of particular concern is the effect the proposed charges will have on small main street traders who already struggle to compete with the increasing number of supermarkets and their large free car parks.”
The email address for the group is firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 015394 40025.
Coun Keith Little, the county council’s highways councillor, said: “On-street parking charges are the only effective and sustainable solution to help the council provide effective traffic management services over the coming years.”