Traders’ concern over changes to Oswestry parking rules
Shopkeepers and market traders fear that tightening up on parking restrictions in Oswestry's part-pedestrianised area could affect how they run their businesses.
Shropshire Council is carrying out an informal consultation on possible changes to the Oswestry Town Centre pedestrian zone and parking restriction traffic regulations.
It involves the Bailey Head, Bailey Street and New Street area, where there are certain exceptions to the pedestrian zone. There are plans to extend the order to take in Sundays.
Oswestry Town Council, which runs the town's markets on the Bailey Head and Bailey Street, will debate the unitary authority's possible move to tighten up on vehicles using the area on Monday.
In a report to the council, town clerk Arren Roberts said: "Shropshire Council has recognised there is a need to review and update the current access orders and traffic prohibitions for Oswestry's principal pedestrian zone.
"There are a number of reasons behind the need for a review, most importantly public safety and a need to clarify and formalise existing arrangements," his report says.
"The potential impact on the operation of the market needs to be considered. A no loading restriction between 10am and 4pm applies to market traders who can't be treated any differently to local businesses.
"Ongoing discussions with Shropshire Council officers will take place to see if any exemptions can be built into the regulations in the event of a market being closed early because of bad weather."
There were mixed views about the tightening up of restrictions from the Flower Gallery in Bailey Street.
Maxine Amos, who works with owner, Wendy Hughes, said: "What is very worrying is the number of cars that are driven the wrong way down Bailey Street.
"I cannot understand how they find themselves going the wrong way down a one-way street.
"But we wouldn't want any tighter restrictions on loading and unloading.
"We have a lot of orders for weddings and funerals and it can sometimes take longer than expected to load our vehicle up with the bouquets and arrangements."
She said that the parking attendants could be 'very keen'.
"If we go over the 10am restriction they are very quick to want to put a ticket on us," she said.
"There should be more opportunities for people to pop and shop in Oswestry, not less.
"We should be encouraging people to come and shop in Oswestry and to set up their businesses here."