New parking charges due to be introduced in Horsham this week have sparked a public backlash.
A protest petition has been launched over Horsham District Council’s proposal to introduce parking fees on Sundays.
The on-line petition at Change.Org gained nearly 4,000 signatures within a few days.
Residents fear that local shops will lose out on Sunday trade if people have to pay to park.
The petition states: “Horsham District Council without any consultation are to introduce parking fees on a Sunday. Horsham has many wonderful & unique businesses who benefit from Sunday trading.
“This will have a massive impact on the wonderful residents of Horsham who support all these businesses on a Sunday.
“This is just another way of penalising both customers & businesses alike.
“Let’s NOT vote with our feet and start shopping elsewhere, let’s use our fingers & stop these greedy bureaucrats from taking even more money from our purses...!”
Meanwhile, West Sussex county councillors have already urged Horsham District Council to delay the introduction of the Sunday charges.
They say they should not be introduced until a review of restrictions in roads near Horsham town centre has been carried out.
Horsham District Council agreed to a £1.50 a day flat fee on Sundays and bank holidays in the town centre car parks it operates from April 1 as a way of raising extra revenue to mitigate the impact of a decline in central Government funding.
However all the town’s Controlled Parking Zones, which are managed by West Sussex County Council, only operate from Monday to Saturday.
Several residents have voiced concerns at the potential effect Sunday charges could have on pushing parking into roads that have controlled parking zones.
And County councillor Nigel Dennis pointed out at a recent meeting that any changes could take a year to implement but Horsham District Council had only given several months’ notice.
And fellow county councillor Brad Watson said that like many authorities Horsham Council was struggling to generate enough money to continue to deliver services.