A protest petition has been launched calling on a council to reverse their decision to increase car parking charges.

Malmesbury Town Council launched the petition after Wiltshire Council announced plans to introduce car parking charges on Sundays and bank holidays.

The authority has also increased season ticket prices with on-street resident permits moving to a two-tier charging system.

Despite furious opposition in the community, the charges are to be introduced on November 19.

Wiltshire Council owns Malmesbury’s two main car parks at Station Yard and the Cross Hayes in the town centre.

Malmesbury mayor Fran Vandelli sent a letter to strongly object when the proposal was put forward in May.

“Malmesbury Town Council does not consider that the process followed by Wiltshire Council in response to the October & November 2017 and May 2018 consultations can be properly described as ‘consultation’, Mayor Vandelli said.

“It appears that, although the Highways Department went to considerable effort and expense to conduct these ‘consultations’, the responses opposing Sunday and bank holiday parking charges have been brushed aside.

“Malmesbury Town Council was unpleasantly surprised that a matter of this importance to the people of Wiltshire was not subject to review by Wiltshire Council as a whole, or its cabinet.”

Malmesbury Town Cllr Julie Exton created the petition and said: "Free parking on Sundays and bank holidays helps attract visitors, supports local businesses and residents with nowhere else to park.

"The imposition by Wiltshire of charges in local car parks for these days from November 19 does the opposite.

"5,000 signatures from Wiltshire residents will force a debate at Wiltshire Council and a vote by councillors to end these charges."

The petition was launched on Friday night and has already gained over 750 signatures.

Only residents who live in Wiltshire can sign the petition.

To sign the petition, go to bit.ly/2OqMnHh.