Parking charges have been brought in at an abandoned restaurant.
The pay-and-display charges are a blow to shoppers who have parked at the former Tulip Wok, on Ford Green Road, in Smallthorne, for years.
Signs have now gone up which state that the car park can only be used by patrons of Lala Chef between 5pm and 7am.
Outside those hours motorists must pay 80p to park for up to an hour; £1.50 for up to two hours; £2.50 for up to four hours; and £3.50 for up to eight hours. Anyone who flouts the rules will be fined £100.
Now Smallthorne residents, workers, shoppers and traders have hit out at the charges. The boarded-up restaurant has recently been hit by a fire and has also been converted into a cannabis factory.
Taxi driver Fezan Arshad, aged 32, who drives for City Central, said: “I used to park there but now I can’t. There won’t be any spaces in the pull-in area for us.
“No-one is going to park in the restaurant car park now. I will try to stay outside the car park if I can.”
Hamid Sherzai manages Bargain World, on Ford Green Road.
The 26-year-old said: “It is wrong. It should be free parking. I do not know why they put charges on it.
“Parking should be free in Smallthorne. It is not a town centre. We need all the help we can get.”
Kellie Fox, aged 46, who owns Wags Dog Grooming, said: “Ashman Street car park is now packed because everybody is parking there now.
“I think all parking should be free in an area like this. All they will get now is nobody will use it so they are not going to get money from it anyway.”
Stacey Bailey, aged 37, of Smallthorne, added: “Parking on the car park has been free for years. As soon as the signs went up the pull-in area was packed. I have a pushchair with a baby and I struggled to get through as there were people trying to get on and off.”
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