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Pie and Mash shop owner calls for Waltham Abbey town square to be used as a car park to help boost trade
An historic town square should be turned into a car park to improve help businesses, it is claimed.
Independent business owners in Waltham Abbey have repeatedly said potential shoppers are put off by the lack of parking spaces.
Tony Lane, owner of Tony’s Pie and Mash shop, is calling for the Market Square to become a temporary car park in an attempt to attract shoppers.
He said: “I want to get the town square used for parking, but only on non-market days.
“Many years ago there was a hotel here and you can see pictures of all the nice cars parked outside it.
“Even if the council just allow an hour, or even forty minutes, people can nip into the bank, the shop, they can grab something to eat. I really think it will encourage people to come into the town.
“Parking is such a problem here.”
Mr Lane, whose shop attracts celebrity customers such as David Beckham, added: "We tried it a couple of years ago but the councillor supporting it passed away and it lost momentum.
“Everyone was keen then and I believe that they still are now.”
Tracy Pritchard, 45, owner of Billams Sandwich Bar, said: "It's a good idea. All the parking seems to be on the other side of the abbey.
"I think there should be a limit of 30 minutes on it otherwise all the cabbies and traders would abuse it."
Daniel Buss, 31, owner of The Stanley Bridge Cycle and Sports Ltd, agreed that the car park would be popular with taxi drivers but would be beneficial.
He said: "I think it would help because it's not really used for anything else. It would encourage people to use Sun Street more."
However, some people were not entirely convinced by the proposal.
Angela Best, 41, shop manager at Dotties, said: "I think they shouldn't use it for the general public but for anyone who works in Waltham Abbey.
"It would be useful for deliveries and it would relieve parking somewhere else."
Chritine Yablanovska, 40, visiting from London, said: "It's not a good idea because it's a historic place and I like it as it is."
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