HUNDREDS of people are opposing plans to remove on-street parking on a busy Bournemouth road.

Proposals have been submitted to remove the 30-minute parking bays in Seabourne Road to improve traffic movement along what has become a busy bus route.

Shopkeepers say the current restrictions which apply between 9.30am and 6pm attract passing trade and to remove it would hit their businesses. No-waiting restrictions apply between 8am and 9.30am Monday to Friday.

Elizabeth Woolard, who runs Elizabeth’s currently trading as Fancy That Dress, said: “None of our customers are going to want to pay to park when they only want to pop in for a couple of minutes. It will put us out of business.

“We are hoping the council will see reason and keep things as they are. We have had parking here for well over 50 years.”

She said traders had to fight a similar application six years ago and won with the compromise of losing a number of parking spaces.

Allan Lee, partner of Barretts, said they provide clothing for schools across the region, including the New Forest and Fordingbridge .

“We are less concerned about passing trade than other businesses in the area. We do feel that parking is still particularly critical for us because of our wide customer base,” he said.

Traders have collected 614 signatures on seven petitions objecting against the proposals and these have been submitted to Bournemouth council, together with nine letters. Two councillors have also objected.

A decision on the scheme has been deferred until further discussions take place with ward councillors.

Ken Hobbs, principal traffic engineer at Bournemouth council, said there had been ongoing problems with buses negotiating this narrow section of Seabourne Road and the bus companies were now seeking the removal of the remaining parking spaces.

Jenni Wilkinson, head of marketing for Yellow Buses , said: "We will support any measures which improve the smooth running of our services across Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset."