The President of Lewes Chamber of Commerce has jumped to the defence of local shops in the wake of increased parking charges in the town.
David Clark said it did not do the town’s image any good if people just associate it with a “vicious” parking scheme.
“We are not the only town in Sussex to have a scheme such as this,” he said. He took exception to comments made by one angry motorist last week, who said shopping in Brighton or Tunbridge Wells was easier with a more appealing selection of shops.
Jeweller Mr Clark said: “I run a business in the town and whilst my customers are not in love with the parking scheme they still get to me. Lewes is famous for its independent businesses, with such a wonderful variety. It is safe to say we are up there with the best towns in Sussex – if not the country!”
The Chamber organised a meeting earlier this year with members of Lewes District Council in attendance. Mr Clark continued: “I would dearly like to explore with the council the potential to allow discretion –allowing a top-up payment for the overstay, instead of a parking fine – for visitors to the town should they overstay their parking limit in the car parks.
“I was told that this would involve installing more advanced parking meters, which would cost more money– this may now be an option that should be more fully explored with the increased parking charges and the revenue generated.”