JEWELLER Dean Madwick has been given a ray of hope in his fight against parking restrictions outside his Aldershot shop.

He has been told that Rushmoor Council is "sympathetic" to his plea for a 20-minute parking bay for customers visiting his Station Road premises.

But Steve Dungay, the council's principal transportation engineer, warns in a letter that such a move will depend on the road remaining one-way.

And at present the council is considering demands from other traders and residents for the road to be opened to two-way traffic.

"Nevertheless I am sympathetic to the changes you are suggesting and will discuss it with my colleagues as part of a package of local changes being considered for various roads in the town centre," adds Mr Dungay.

Mr Madwick, who opened Gold Station Jewellers just over two years ago, said he was disappointed that he had not received a more positive answer from the council.

"I'm afraid they are going to let it drift," he said. "I want some quick action because if something isn't done soon, then we could be forced out of business."

His problem, which he first highlighted in a letter to the Star, started just over two months ago when the council took control of parking restrictions from the police.

More traffic wardens are now patrolling the town, and they are operating a tougher regime.

Mr Madwick said his trade had dropped since the crackdown, with four of his customers having received £60 parking tickets. "They had only stopped off to pick up repairs," he added. "The problem is they can't just nip in and out because I have to complete paperwork and that sort of thing."