Shoppers and visitors to Burnley town centre face having to pay to park on the street in what could be a huge blow to local shops and businesses.
The proposals, which will be discussed by Lancashire County Council when it meets on Monday, would see the end of free parking currently enjoyed for 40 minutes in Burnley and Padiham.
Burnley and District Chamber of Trade president Brian Hobbs slammed the move as “a negative step” and said it would hit small, independent businesses hard.
He said: “The 40 minutes free parking we currently have is perfect. It allows people to nip into town to buy a few bits while keeping traffic moving. It gives that flexibility.
“Charging for on-street parking would be like taking two steps back and none forward. We will be registering our objections.”
The county council has also indicated it would look to introduce traffic regulations on residential streets to mitigate for the likely “migration” of cars.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “There is currently a limited amount of on-street parking where charging applies in the county with spaces in Lancaster and Preston only.
“The budget proposal to be discussed by cabinet is to expand the number of spaces in these cities, and introduce new spaces in other towns and local centres.
“A number of areas are under consideration but no decisions have been made about where these spaces would be introduced.
“Applying charges to on-street parking can help to ensure turnover of spaces where there is demand, making it easier for people to visit local businesses.
“There is a requirement to consult on all new traffic regulations, so people would have an opportunity to give their views before they are introduced.”