Traders fear new evening and Sunday parking charges will ‘kill’ the high street by pushing shoppers to neighbouring towns.
Traders in the town fear it will push shoppers to Stafford or large out of town shopping centres.
Anthony Jacks from Shoe Repairs and Key Cutting said: “It will kill the town centre. It’s hard enough for business as it is.
“We’ve seen it with coronavirus now making people pay extra money, it will be hard. I want to know what the money is going on.
“People will end up coming into town and popping to Morrisons. They’ll get their shopping done and maybe come to the centre – otherwise it’ll be job done.”
Denise Fagan, from Red Dee Holistic and Beauty in Stone, was also concerned about the charges.
She said: “I’m not happy about it at all. It’s going to affect trade but businesses are already struggling.
“I think the trade in the town has already started to die off. People will just to Stafford or the Octagon Shopping Centre (in Burton) instead.
“If people don’t want to pay they’ll go somewhere else and the town will start to struggle.”
As well as introducing parking charges on evenings and Sundays, the borough council has increased fares by 20p – although mobile users are unaffected.
All of the council owned car parks across the borough have been affected by the change in fees.
As part of the parking overhaul the Castle Hill car park in Stafford has been renamed the Windmill, while Lammascote Gyratory has been renamed North Walls and Tenterbanks to Victoria Park.
Stafford Borough Council spokesman William Conaghan said: “In some cases the charges for motorists to park on borough council run car parks have not increased for ten years, and generally they have not gone up since 2016 – although the cost of running and maintaining car parks has increased during that time.
“We are also looking to invest in our borough car parks – such as introducing electric vehicle charging points. From Monday there will be an extra 10p on the shorter periods of parking – for example, a one hour stay will now be 70p in Stone and £1.10 in Stafford.
“It will be £1 after 6pm and a pound to park all day Sunday.”