A decision on changes to parking in Raynes Park has been pushed back to the autumn, to the delight of campaigners.

Tensions were running high after plans were revealed for a range of parking charges in the town centre, to the anger of many business people and residents.

A petition launched against the proposals has reached almost 1,000 signatures. Merton Council will not make a decision about any amendments until the autumn, although that does not include the residents' controlled parking zones (CPZ) proposals.

A consultation on the plans had been due to end on Friday, February 7, but was extended for a further week to Friday, February 14 for people to comment.

Julie Donabie, of My Favourite Things in Worple Road, said: "We are really happy, it gives us more time.

"What we don't want is for [the council] to rush it through.

"It looks like they are listening to us."

A council spokesperson said following feedback from businesses, Raynes Park Businesses Steering Group and a recent consultation about CPZ it was highlighted that the existing parking restrictions in Raynes Park centre were confusing to drivers.

The existing proposals suggest changes to the current arrangements introducing a uniform approach in respect of hours of operation and charges.

This includes introducing 20 minutes free parking in pay and display bays throughout Raynes Park town centre to increase the amount of people visiting businesses.

Merton’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: "We want to get this right, so we won’t be taking any decisions immediately, but will hold continuing talks with all the individual businesses as well as residents’ associations about what is right for them and all users of the town centre.

"We do think that an initial 20 minutes free parking in pay and display bays is a good idea as it can lead to a high turnover for customers of shops and cafes.

"Nonetheless, we are going to listen."

The proposed changes include pay and display bays to be installed in Durham Road.

Currently there are free spaces from 10am to 4pm with a maximum stay of one hour, but this will be converted to paid for spaces with a maximum stay of two hours.

Opposite Sainsbury's Local in Worple Road, it is proposed to convert the existing free spots to pay and display with a maximum stay of two hours.

To comment on the plans, write to the head of street scene and waste, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX or email trafficandhighways@merton.gov.uk quoting reference ES/SGE/RPTC.