SHOPPERS in Barnards Green will be able to park longer in the area's main car park, thanks to pressure from councillors and traders.

This week, Malvern Hills District Council's executive committee voted unanimously to increase the maximum stay in the Geraldine Road car park from two hours to four hours, with a maximum charge of £2.

The move has been welcomed by the local traders' association, which ha labelled it a "great solution" to parking problems in the Green.

The change came after local councillors listened to the concerns of traders, who were worried that there was not enough long-term parking.

Coun Melanie Baker said: "One-hour on-street parking is fine for someone who wants to pop in and get a sandwich or something, two hours, as it currently is in the car park, is better, but traders wanted the chance for people to stay longer.

"I'm delighted the council has listened to what the traders are saying, and that the executive committee voted unanimously to approve this measure.

“With so many independent shops, Barnards Green is one of the exceptional shopping areas that retail guru Mary Portas refers to."

Jane Knowles, of the Barnards Green Traders Association, said: "All traders in Barnards Green work hard to deliver a convenient, varied and vibrant shopping area.

"The new arrangements will give people much improved options. It will allow them to linger for longer so they can pop in to buy a card or sandwich, visit the butchers and bakers, spend longer having their hair done and have lunch in the cafe. It’s a great solution for all.”

Ivor Pumfrey, MHDC's head of community services, said: "It was always recognised that following the introduction of civil parking enforcement, we would need to make local changes to parking arrangements to reflect local needs."

County councillor Lucy Hodgson is also pressing for a number of two-hour on-street parking bays to be created.

She said: "We want to give people as many options as we can, and this as one of the suggestions made when traders met councillors and council officers."