The owner of a vape shop in Stonehouse has said he would welcome scrapping charges at the town's council car parks.

Stu Adams, who set up Stonehouse Vape Shop early last year, says a proposal for free afternoon parking would give a boost to the high street, especially as people only tend to nip in to the town's shops.

Stonehouse Vape Shop on the high street. Photos: Simon Pizzey

District councillors are tonight voting on a package of rule changes to car parks they own, which includes making parking free in Stonehouse and Painswick after 3pm.

The two towns are, along with Stroud, the only ones in the district without free parking.

Stu argues that Stonehouse, unlike other towns in the district, is treated as a through-road by shoppers who are looking for a quick buy but may be put off by the prospect of paying to park.

“A lot of people just pop into Stonehouse - it's got a different style of shopping,” he told the SNJ.

Stu Adams, who owns Cotswold Vapour

“It’s not like places such as Stroud where people will park up for hours and have a walk around the town.”

He says most of his customers tend to come to his shop multiple times a week for a quick refill of their vaping supplies.

Paul Barnes, a joint owner of high street hairdresser Feel Good Factor, agreed with Stu and also warned trade in Stonehouse was on the decline.

"On the Stonehouse high street you've now got about eight shop properties vacant," he said.

Stonehouse high street

"Against that backdrop, if you don't do anything then shops risk dying off completely.

"Especially if shoppers can go to another town like where parking is free."

Earlier this month Stonehouse councillors called for an end to parking charges altogether to put it on the same footing as other small market towns in the district like Nailsworth.

The pay and display council car park in Stonehouse

The parking review being voted on tonight originally contained plans to introduce charges in the council car parks at Dursley, Wotton-under-Edge, Nailsworth and Stratford Park.

They have now been dropped following campaigning by residents and traders which included public meetings and petitions.