|The Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday, 10th April 2001|
BUSINESSES in a thriving part of Preston claim moves to limit parking could kill the town's professional quarter.
Preston Council's environment bosses meet tomorrow to decide whether to introduce permit holder parking on roads around Winckley Square in the Avenham district.
The move will lead to a reduced number of limited waiting spaces but 34 objections have been lodged with the authority.
Traffic chiefs believe businesses should accept the impact car journeys have on congestion and pollution levels.
However, Frank Harrington, of the chartered Frank Harrington Associates which has been based on Cross Street for eight years, claims small businesses may relocate if the proposals are implemented.
He added: "It should be remembered that small businesses, in particular around the town centre, feed off each other which in turn generates business for the major occupiers in prime positions." Ian Bolland, of Holland Associates chartered accountants, said 28 businesses in the area oppose the plans.
He said: "If you take time to walk around the town centre, you will find more and more commercial properties being vacated.
"At the moment, the best I can hope for is that the clients drive around the area in hope of finding a one-hour parking space, whatever the weather, race to my office, try to deal with their business and race back before they get a parking ticket."
Bosses at Laverys solicitors claim the proposals will make it harder for clients to visit its offices on Camden Place.
Peter Lavery said: "There are in actual fact only two residential properties on Camden Place, one being number nine and the other being number one, which is occupied by students who of course pay no council tax. In these circumstances we hardly think it is necessary for there to be an extension of residents' parking."
Managers of Lancashire County Council's 22-staff community support team, which is also based at Camden Place, claim their services would be "damaged."
Chris Southworth and Judith Beattie, in a joint letter, said the move will hit staff who have physical problems and the groups they help, which include people experiencing severe mental health problems.
The roads around Winckley Square, Mount Street and Starkie Street will not be affected as they are set to become zones for on-street parking charges.
There remains a problem with excessive demand for a limited number of parking spaces.
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|© The Lancashire Evening Post, April 2001|