Traders fear their businesses could face losses as disruptive works to reduce flood risks begin on the Quay in Sandwich.
The Environment Agency has closed a large section of the Quay car park to undertake vital flood defence works but traders are worried this could leave them significantly out of pocket.
The work will run until April 1 and will also mean that heavy goods vehicles will be allowed to use the toll bridge despite weight restrictions.
After traders and residents spoke against the closure last week, the Environment Agency has confirmed that it will aim to keep as many spaces as it can for the public.
Further parking will be made available on the grass area.
At a Sandwich Town Council meeting on Monday, councillors discussed the issue and concluded that they should hold a site meeting to ensure this happens.
“It’s going to be crippling for the town."
Cllr Paul Carter has been working with traders on a petition to include one-hour free parking in the town.
He said: “If it was for a few weeks then it would be OK but this is for six months; we have to do something about it.”
Reg Franks, proprietor of Su-Shades, in Strand Street, said closing the car park could stop visitors coming into Sandwich.
He said: “It’s going to be crippling for the town.
“We’ve had three weeks’ closure for the scaffolding emergency works recently and looking at the books after that we can all see the result of how that affected business and that was just a few weeks, this is six months.”
Mr Franks explained that even if the grass area is made available for parking it will be quickly taken up by residents.
Speaking at the town council meeting, the Mayor, Cllr Bernard Butcher added that although the work is inconvenient it is also vital.
In Last week’s Mercury incorrectly reported that Mr Franks had said people would park at Sandwich Infant School if they can’t park on the Quay. We apologise for the error.