Hyndburn's Labour group has promised to oppose any move by Lancashire County Council to introduce on-street car parking charges in the borough's townships.

Their pledge followed the idea being floated by the county authority last week.

A meeting of the its scrutiny management committee on Tuesday, January 16, heard consideration was being given to rolling out pay and display charging in unspecified places where roadside parking is currently free.

But at the authority's Cabinet two days later, deputy county council leader Alan Vincent said any implementation of new on-street parking charges had been 'paused' while the leaders of its 12 constituent district authorities were consulted on whether – and where – they would like to see on-street pay and display fees introduced in their areas before any proposals to bring new parking charges to town centres were drawn up.

A similar scheme was proposed five years ago which suggested more than a dozen areas as possible locations for pay and display charging – including Burnley, Chorley, Clitheroe, Colne, Great Harwood, Nelson, Padiham, and Whalley - but was abandoned after widespread opposition which included a 2,500-signature petition from East Lancashire areas.

Now Hyndburn Council's Labour group opposition leader Cllr Munsif Dad has committed to a campaign to stop the county council's Conservative administration resurrecting the plan.

Lancashire Telegraph: Cllr Munsif DadCllr Munsif Dad

He has started a petition protesting against it.

Cllr Dad said: "Hyndburn Labour firmly opposes the misguided proposal by Conservative Lancashire County to implement on-street car park charges.

"This ill-conceived plan threatens the vitality of our local high streets and places an undue burden on residents and businesses already grappling with economic challenges.

"We believe in fostering a thriving community, and this proposal contradicts this and will be a retrograde step.

"Such charges would disproportionately affect those with limited means, discouraging them from engaging in the vibrant social and economic life of townships across Hyndburn from Great Harwood Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors to Accrington, Church and Oswaldtwistle.

"We urge Conservative Lancashire County to reconsider this proposal and engage in meaningful dialogue with the community."

Currently the only parts of the county council area where on-street car parking has to be paid for is on selected roads in Preston and Lancaster city centres.  

Off-street car parks, where charging is the norm, are usually operated by or on behalf of Lancashire’s dozen district councils.