A local MP has stepped in to try to help a Buckinghamshire hardware shop that is losing business because customers cannot park nearby.
Years ago, there were restrictions on the time people were allowed to leave their cars in the parking bays outside Hunts of Marlow. However, over time those restrictions have lapsed and cars are now left there for extended periods.
Jason Hunt, partner in the family-run business, told DIY Week that the issue was costing the hardware store money in terms of lost sales but that he was hopeful that pleas both to the council and MP Dominic Grieve would now bear fruit.
"Years ago there used to be half-hour or an hour parking," he said. "As it stands now, people can park all day. Some are commuters, some work in the town, some are local house owners. And if customers can't park they'll go elsewhere."
And he said he had good evidence that the issue was losing the shop trade. "The other day we had all the road resurfaced and it was closed for three days," he said. "On the first day cars were still allowed through but couldn't park for a long time, and sales went up 25% that day. On the second day no cars were allowed to park anywhere and sales went down 25%. The last day they finished sales went back to normal."
Hunts has contacted Buckinghamshire County Council many times about the problem, and now Dominic Grieve has visited the shop to take a look for himself. Mr Hunt said he thought the council might be about to take some positive action.
"I've got a funny feeling that in the background something might be happening," he said. "We've seen a bit of communication. And Dominic Grieve's come down and it's looking like he's going to support the issue.
"For a small independent shop it would be nice to have some support," he added. "We pay enough business rates so a little bit back wouldn't go amiss."
Last week, Hunts of Marlow came fourth in a list of Britain's top 20 DIY shops in The Telegraph.