Bailgate traders' delight at new hour's free parking
Traders in one of Lincoln's most important shopping and tourism areas say custom is up after a 30-minute on-street parking restriction was doubled.
After a campaign, motorists can now park in Bailgate and Eastgate for up to an hour.
More than 1,200 people signed a petition in April, following claims the half-hour limit was severely damaging businesses in the Bail area.
Lincolnshire County Council reacted by pledging to fast-track the parking order in time for the summer season.
Bailgate property landlord and campaign leader Danny Kirk dug into his pockets for a champagne celebration for shopkeepers.
"It's all due to all our very valued customers who were only too pleased to sign the petition," said Mr Kirk, 59, of Sewell Road, Lincoln.
"Where else in the city can you park for an hour for free and visit so many quality retailers?"
Business owners claimed motorists had been 'scared away' from the area since the county council became responsible for policing on-street parking in December.
Lorraine Vickery of the Vis a Vis store in Bailgate said the new longer parking restriction has had an immediate impact.
"Everyone seems much more relaxed in the Bail since the signs went up," she said.
"It makes such a pleasant change from the situation where everyone who came through the door complained about the fact they could only park for 30 minutes.
"Now they can come in and try something on, try another garment and still not have to worry about getting a ticket.
"And trade is definitely picking up, even though we're selling our autumn range in this hot summer weather."
Nick Ridout of The Whisky Shop in Bailgate said the extra half-hour was extremely important to commercial visitors.
He said: "It's made a big difference already to all the reps who come up here.
"There's been a major improvement for our businesses in that area because reps don't have to rush off almost as soon as they've arrived."
Deborah Downing of the Chantal shoes and clothing gallery in Bailgate said: "Half-an-hour just wasn't long enough and we'd often see people genuinely panicking that they were about to get a parking ticket."
Jeanne Gibson, the county's principal highways officer, said: "It seemed like a sensible proposal and we were happy to extend the waiting time to an hour."