PARKING restrictions have been introduced to try to settle a row which has divided a Hampshire village.

It is hoped the measures will resolve the dispute between shop owners in Titchfield and a bus company which led to a mass meeting in the village.

Fareham Borough Council’s executive member for public protection, Trevor Cartwright, decided on a number of measures to satisfy First Bus’ call for double yellow lines on South Street.

First Bus, which runs the 4A from Fareham to Southampton through the village, had threatened to pull out of Titchfield if something was not done, but confirmed it would now continue the current route.

It claims lack of spaces for buses to manoeuvre due to parked cars had led to £100,000 of damage to its buses or by buses to other vehicles in two years.

While some residents wanted to preserve the bus service, others feared no parking could harm trade.

Rival petitions were launched and residents met to discuss the issue in February.

The resulting changes, which were put in place last month, include reducing the current five parking bays to two and one disabled space.

In addition, loading or unloading is not allowed between 9am and 5pm, though some premises can apply for a loading permit for health and safety reasons.

Trialled over a year, if successful these measures could become permanent.

Although Cllr Cartwright said he was not aware of any complaints so far, not everyone is happy about the changes.

Hadlows Butchers, in South Street, handed in a 1,000-signature petition to the council.

It reported that trade was suffering as a result because customers could not find anywhere to park.

Owner Derek Haggard said he did not think his views had been listened to.

“I don’t think it’s right that we should be held to ransom as a small village for the bus company,” he said.

“The butchers and jewellers, we bring people into this village and without us the village could die.”

However, resident Mike Gausden, who had supported preserving the bus, felt it was a good compromise.

“I’m happy that the bus has been kept running. For certain areas it’s the only bus service they can get to Southampton on,” he said.

Cllr Cartwright said he had tried to accommodate everybody’s views and that changes could still be made.

He added that it was important to try to protect the bus route, not only for Titchfield residents but for all those on the Fareham to Southampton route.

Chrissie Bainbridge, general manager of First Hampshire, welcomed the changes.

She said the service needed the current size of bus to meet demand on other parts of the route, and although rerouting had been looked at, this was not an option.