A MARKET leader is urging the borough council to scrap pay and display parking and adopt a barrier system to attract more shop-pers to Ellesmere Port.
Brian Hannaway, secretary of Ellesmere Port Market Traders' Federation, claims more and more people are put off visiting the town due to the current parking conditions.
He says customers, particularly the elderly, are worried about being fined for not returning to their cars in time and he has called on the council to remove the limit on the number of hours people can park.
Mr Hannaway is also appealing for the area at the back of York Road to be turned into a long-stay car park for traders.
He said: 'A barrier system would make a big difference. It would not cause people to worry about getting back to their car on time as they can pay when they leave.
'Shoppers have had to put up with a lot of development in the town over the past five years and that has had an affect. We need to try and get people back into the town.
'The number of tickets people are getting is a big issue. One customer who is fined is potentially one customer who will not come back to the town.
'A lot of traders also have concerns about having to park on Cromwell Road, especially when going back to their vans with their takings. The area at the back of the market is never busy and could be turned into a long-stay car park.'
Margaret Morris, the borough council's parking services unit manager, said: 'There have been suggestions that we consider changing the town centre car park to a pay-on-foot barrier system.
'We always welcome new ideas and, in fact, considered this option in 2001 when the town centre car park was being planned.
'However, a barrier system would mean significant changes to the car park which would impact on the general public.
'The high cost to install and maintain this type of system would have to be considered very carefully.'
She added: 'Market traders have permits to enable them to park in Wellington Road car park. Their permits also allow them to load and unload at specific times in the town centre car park.
'There will be a 52-space public short-stay pay and display car park with long-stay provision built on a site in Shrewsbury Road. Both the general public and anyone who works in the town centre will be able to use this car park.'