Loss of St Peter Port parking spaces 'will cause chaos'
The removal of 200 parking spaces in St Peter Port would affect both retailers and commuters, said the director of Guernsey's Chamber of Commerce.
Barry Cash said a Public Services Department proposal to cut spaces from the North Beach area would cause chaos.
The department announced that subject to approval, the area would be used for work to freight berths ahead of the replacement of the harbour's cranes.
Mr Cash acknowledged that repairs to the harbour were necessary.
"Whatever happens, the harbour has got to be repaired," he said.
"We had a visit to the harbour a couple of months ago, and it is appalling ... if the port fails, the island fails."
Deputy Bernard Flouquet, Minister for Public Services, acknowledged the project would also impact port users.
He said: "This is an essential project, so we feel the fairest solution is to share the burden."
Deputy Flouquet confirmed that the parking spaces could be lost for more than two years, but said the department would try to relocate some of the spaces in the interim.
Tony Creasey, managing director of Creasey's and the Marks and Spencer franchise in Guernsey, also expressed concern over the plans.
He said: "We need the footfall through the town 52 weeks of the year to maintain our businesses.
"It's going to affect anybody who has staff employed in St Peter Port."
If the scheme is approved, it is expected work will begin in April 2012.