New parking restrictions in a busy retail park have been lifted after disgruntled shoppers threatened to boycott the area.
Borehamwood Shopping Park, in Theobold Street, Borehamwood, will offer three hours free parking once again after hundreds staged a huge campaign.
Managing agents Jones Lang LaSalle sparked fury when it cut parking times from three hours to two hours earlier this month.
More than 700 people signed an online petition, urging them to change the “crazy” rules that would “take the joy out” of visiting the area.
But their decision - which they claimed was for a trial period - has now been reversed.
Longstanding campaigner Sue Alford, of Hunter Close, Borehamwood, said: “That’s brilliant news, it’s been an excellent effort from the people of Borehamwood.
“I’d like to thank the Borehamwood Times for their help with the campaign.”
Debenhams is set to open alongside Next, New Look, Boots, Outfit and Argos – but the flagship store had not been consulted about the changes.
It contacted JLL after hearing the news and demanded them to lift the restrictions immediately, before carrying out a full investigation as to why no trial period was carried out.
David Burcombe, of Arundel Drive, said: “I’m very very pleased. On behalf of all the residents who signed the petition, it was really pleasing for everyone and I can see common sense has prevailed.”
Nearby Shenley Road has been branded a “ghost town” and many felt the new rules would discourage shoppers from visiting the area.
Mayor of Hertsmere Paul Morris has spent the last year holding meetings and talks as part of his campaign to revitalise the area.
He said: “It is really great – I am thrilled the managers have listed to the community and understood the adverse impact it would have had on their businesses.
“It’s a positive step. It’s going to create a situation where we can now look forward, and I can now look to bettering the high street.”
Councillor Sandra Parnell said: “How wonderful. They couldn’t leave it at three hours, especially given the fact that Debenhams didn’t know.
“I’m absolutely delighted; hopefully people will start to shop there again.”
Parking Eye, which manage the car park, has been asked to change the signs back to three hours.
A statement from JLL said: “We welcome shoppers to the park and are pleased to be able to offer free parking. However, we trialled a reduction from three to two hours due to concerns that customers of the retail park have been unable to use the car park because many people have been parking to visit other local amenities.
“We have reviewed the situation and given the importance of the shopping park to the local retail environment and following contact from the local community who were unhappy with the reduction, we have decided to reinstate the three hours free parking with immediate effect.
“Car park management company Parking Eye will be changing the signage in due course.”