Parking is blamed for driving shoppers away from Biddulph High Street
TRADERS claim a lack of parking is damaging their businesses.
Now more than 400 people have signed a petition calling for more parking spaces to the north of Biddulph High Street.
Campaigners argue that the town's one-way system leaves a number of stores being by-passed by traffic and hard to get to for existing customers.
The petition was submitted to Biddulph Town Council at a meeting on Tuesday.
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Eileen Cox, secretary of Friends of Biddulph, which started the petition, said: "We've spoken to a couple of traders on the north side of the high street who feel the one-way system has put people off coming into town.
"Currently, the one-way system means the town can't be accessed by the north end, which may put people off from visiting the shops there and also it's the way people drive through to get out of town.
"So if there's nowhere for people to park outside the north side, they will just continue out of the town. We've only put the petition in shops for two weeks so we're really surprised by the response."
John McKechnie, who owns Reltso Pet Store, on the High Street, put his shop up for sale last week due to a fall in trade.
He believes the one-way system has affected the number of shoppers visiting the area north of the town centre.
The 56-year-old said: "The shop has been a family-owned business for over 20 years and I took over the shop five years ago from my sister and her husband, who retired.
"The one-way system has been a disaster for the shops along the north end of the High Street.
"There's hardly any passing trade at all now and I've seen a lot of shops closing in the last couple of months.
"I was even told by a customer that she had found it hard to get to my shop due to the one-way system.
"There's only around 10 spaces to park alongside the street and shoppers can only park for 30 minutes, which is just not enough. Sometimes, I can go two hours without seeing a single customer.
"The petition just highlights the fact shoppers, as well as traders, are desperate for more parking in the town."
This week, the town council formed a working party to look at potential sites for more parking in the town centre.
Councillor Matthew Tolley, who will work with the group, said: "The traders at the north end of the High Street have been suffering ever since the one-way system was introduced.
"The change meant it made it difficult for people to shop and park.
"Now we have set up this working party, we will hopefully be able to make some progress with the parking situation in Biddulph, in particular on the north side of the high street."