Saffron Walden's Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a petition objecting to Uttlesford District Council's proposed hike in car parking charges.

The proposals will see the daily charging period in council car parks extended from 5pm to 6pm, as well as removing all 30-minute tariffs in Saffron Walden car parks.

Flat rate tariffs will be introduced for parking in council car parks on Sundays and Bank Holidays, while charges will be introduced at Catons Lane car park in Saffron Walden as a long-stay car park, and the same in London Road car park at weekends.

A petition objecting to the proposals was launched online, while hard copies were delivered to town centre businesses to galvanise support from their customers and clients.

Residents were also encouraged to make comments directly to the council's parking consultation, which closes this Friday.

Matt Gurnett, owner of Saffron Fish, provided market stall holders with copies of the petition on clipboards on Saturday - receiving more than 500 signatures from shoppers visiting the market.

Matt said: “This really come across as a short-sighted money grabbing exercise by the council, we need support and help at the moment not more challenges to our market town.

"In some cases the price of a ticket has gone up by 133 per cent, and my season ticket for swan meadow is going up from £300 to £550 per year.

"This is not good news for the high street at all."

To sign the petition go to

BID vice chair Julie Redfern wrote to Cllr Neil Hargreaves, the council's deputy leader and portfolio holder for finance and the economy, asking for an extension to the three-week consultation period, which was refused.


She said: "Our local businesses are so concerned about the impact these changes will have on their livelihoods, overall town centre footfall and town centre employment.

"Let's hope that UDC sees sense!"

A spokesperson for Uttlesford District Council said: "The council is encouraging everyone affected by the proposals to respond to the consultation, which closes at 4.30pm on Friday, February 2, and will be taking all comments on board before making a final decision."