The manager of the Strand Shopping Centre in Douglas is urging shoppers to sign an e-petition calling for new Sunday parking charges to be scrapped.
Sunday pay and display charges were introduced at the two government-owned multi-stories at Chester Street and Drumgold Street – above Marks and Spencer – last weekend, their introduction having been delayed by a month with the agreement of Infrastructure Minister David Cretney.
Rates are the same as those applied on weekdays and Saturdays - £1 for up to an hour, £1.50 for up to two hours and £2 for up to three.
Some shoppers expecting to park for free on Sunday found themselves receiving a ticket.
The petition has been set up by Steve England of the organisation Manx Business Reviews and has been signed by more than 600 people.
It calls for the government to withdraw the charges indefinitely, claiming the parking fees will drive customers and business away – and push people to opt for internet shopping instead.
Strand Shopping Centre manager John Shakespeare said: ‘Retail is having a particularly hard time and this is another nail in the coffin for town centre shopping.
‘We know government is in a tough position but charges should be postponed until the whole issue of car parking is addressed.
‘They did advertise these charges back in April but I’ve not seen much consultation. It rather went under the radar.
‘I first became aware in early December when people started having tickets but the Minister agreed to put it back another month. Now people are getting tickets the petition is gaining momentum.’
Mr Shakespeare said the idea of a manual petition would be discussed at a meeting of shopping centre tenants next Wednesday.
Town centre manager Michelle O’Malley said the Sunday pay and display charges was also on the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the of the Douglas Development Partnership’s advisory group.
You can view the e-petition at http://fb.me/18KS5H251