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Maria Pearson fears Doolittles Pets may face closure after parking loss
A pet shop owner in Kings Langley fears "she may have to close her doors" after business has declined following the loss of a car parking space outside her shop.
Maria Pearson, who owns Doolittles Pets in the High Street says since a parking space outside her shop was replaced by extended road markings for a bus stop she has seen a decline in trade.
Ms Pearson said customers used to use the one-hour parking bay to pull up and pop in if they were buying heavier goods such as dog food or rabbit hutches.
The 36-year old said: "It has been a struggle ever since and if custom doesn’t pick up I fear I will have to close my doors.
"It would be such a shame because I have become part of the furniture here in the village.
"Ever since the parking space was replaced with the bus stop, it means customers can’t just pull up and pop in - so they go elsewhere."
Ms Pearson says she was attracted to the High Street 11 years ago and described it as once "lovely and lively".
She has noticed a decline in business in the last two years but the loss of a parking place seven months ago is the last straw.
Ms Pearson has put up signs in and outside her shop emblazoned with the message "use us or lose us".
She said: "This is my way of appealing to customers in a last-ditch attempt to let them know we need their support. We are trying to open their eyes.
"Many of the locals in the village have been supportive.
"However, parking has become a huge problem in this High Street and could well kill the High Street.
"If local people don’t support the shops in the village, we won’t have a village - it’s as simple as that."
Carol Leach, a spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, said the parking space was replaced due to its location.
She said: "With a pedestrian crossing and a car parking space, it was not possible for buses to easily pull into the bus stop.
"As a result they were stopping in the road to pick up and drop off passengers and causing traffic congestion.
"At the request of Kings Langley Parish Council we extended the road markings, by removing the parking space so that buses could access the stop more easily and not drop off/pick up people up in the middle of the road."
Ms Leach added before the county council removed the parking space, consultations took place in order to seek a traffic regulation order. However, no official objections were received.