Free parking spaces may go in parts of Lincolnshire
Traders in Lincolnshire say they fear plans to get rid of hundreds of free parking spaces could damage their business.
Lincolnshire County Council wants to bring in charging as it takes parking enforcement from the police and is looking at ways of balancing the cost.
Between 400 and 500 spaces in busy areas such as town centres would be affected.
Nathan Willows, a greengrocer in Lincoln, said this could hit his trade.
He said: "I think it's pretty ridiculous that they're going to start charging because, for half an hour's parking, some people just want to nip in and get a few bananas and that, and they don't want to be paying £1.50 for an hour when they're going to be five minutes and then gone again."
Traders said they feared charges might frighten customers into taking their business elsewhere.
Division Highways Manager Brian Thompson said: "We've looked to get an affordable service to all on-street enforcement throughout all of Lincolnshire and it looks as though, over a five-year period, it might actually cost the tax-payer of Lincolnshire between three quarters of a million or £1m and this is some way of trying to narrow that gap."
Through the introduction of pay and display, the authority would aim to recoup £540,000 per year, leaving the remainder to come in via fines from illegal parking.
New resident permit schemes and parking meters are also being considered.
Councillors will consider the matter at a meeting on 27 June.
If the chances are approved, civic parking enforcement (CPE) would be introduced around June 2012.