The chief executive of Luton council received a hostile reception from business owners angry at the parking reductions, during a trip to High Town.
Robin Porter had visited the conservation area along High Town Road last week after business leaders said plans to significantly reduce their parking spaces for a new property development would drive customers away.
Real estate agent Mohammed Shahid said Porter faces angry traders.
âIt was extremely hostile,â he said. “Business people feel very disappointed.”
He has now started a petition in the region calling on the council to rethink its plans to remove 28 public parking spaces, which the companies say will drive out customers who cannot park. Traders will end up with only 12 spaces for themselves and their customers, they say.
“We were not consulted on the plan,” he said. âWe were all taken by surprise.
“Every business has been closed during the closures and some are barely surviving. The loss of parking cuts a lifeline, they will close their doors.”
Mr Shadid said that since parking spaces were removed to cope with a new apartment development, there has been chaos on the road, with people parking in yellow lines or on the sidewalk.
âThe parking lot has been around for 45 years,â he said. “We all need to find another place to park. The general manager has witnessed some of the chaos in the area with people parking on double yellow lines.”
Dorota Bodniewicz lives and works in High Town and said: “It’s ridiculous what’s happened here. They’re literally killing businesses while customers struggle to park. They’re just killing the neighborhood.
âThe advice is just crossing our fingers that we get used to it. “
The petition states: âThe Luton Borough Council did not properly take into account the impact of the loss of these parking lots and did not make any proposals regarding other parking arrangements.
âThe construction process has already started and it is progressing rapidly. This will significantly reduce the level of on-street parking in the area, but will also remove the vast majority of long-term parking in the High Town Road commercial area.
âThis long-term parking lot is used by both local residents and people working in businesses and shops in the upper town. This change will also impact people with reduced mobility and parents with strollers who again rely on the ability to park closer to the store or business they are visiting.
And he calls on the council to rethink the situation. âWe are calling on High Town Councilors and the Chief Executive Officer of Luton Council to reconsider LBC’s decision and keep this vital parking resource on High Town Rd / Brunswick Street. Alternatively, allocate an appropriate number of spaces to accommodate movement in the local area (High Town Road, Brunswick Street and Back Street) a distance equal to that of the existing Brunswick Street parking lot. ‘
A council spokesperson said: “The council is committed to investing in redundant sites throughout Luton to meet the needs of residents. In High Town in particular, we recently invested Â£ 275,000 in improving street lighting and additional funds to facilitate improvements to the public realm at the junction of High Town Road and Burr Street.
âThe new High Town development provided by Foxhall Homes on the old Taylor Street parking lot will enhance the area and provide large family homes, which are rare in Luton. There will be twenty-three homes for sale and new ones. affordable houses for rent.
âAs part of our goal of making Luton a carbon neutral city by 2040, we are committed to encouraging the use of local facilities that are easily accessible on foot or by bike and believe this development will benefit local merchants. region as it will bring new buyers to the locality.
âOnce the work in progress is completed, there will be 12 spaces for public use, accessible from Brunswick Street and 27 spaces, accessible via Back Street, for private parking.
âThere are other paid and posted parking lots on Wenlock Street and Hitchin Road, a short walk away. There is a full bus service and a main train station within 0.2 mile.
“We continue to work and engage with local businesses, not only in High Town but across Luton, to achieve our Luton 2040 goal of having a city where everyone thrives and no one lives in poverty. “.