Responding to figures from the RAC Foundation which show that 8,000,000 local authority parking penalties are issued annually across England and Wales, Gordon Millward, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) regional chairman, said: “Councils are cutting their noses off to spite their faces when they try to fill revenue gaps with parking charges.
“They would do far more to boost local growth, and their own coffers, by taking a more generous approach to parking around local high streets.
“We know that introducing permanent short-stay free parking can provide a huge shot in the arm for town centres. Doing so attracts shoppers and new businesses alike.
“With business rates hikes, flagging consumer demand and rising input costs, our small retailers have enough to worry about without their customers being put off from visiting for fear of being hit with a parking fine.
“Local authorities should put more time and energy into supporting the small business community and focus less on parking restrictions that damage growth in the long-term.”