Businesses will be ‘crucified’ if red route charges are brought in

Georgia Graham

SHOPS, pubs and businesses across North London have expressed their fury at Transport for London’s decision to consider charging for parking on red routes – a change that campaigners say will ‘crucify’ them.

Currently commercial drivers can park in the bays for loading for 20 minutes at off-peak times. Private vehicles are allowed to park for five minutes in the same spots.

Key arteries through Barnet, Camden, Haringey and Westminster are currently red routes, including Finchley Road, Archway Road, Kentish Town Road and Camden Road.

Red routes are managed by Transport for London (TfL) rather than by local councils and now that the body needs to make efficiency savings it has decided to consider charging – much to the dismay of local business owners.

Mohammed Mashal, owner of Furniture Express on Finchley Road, said: “It will 100 per cent affect our business very badly – and every other business along here. It is already hard enough to park anywhere. All the way along the road we have the red route: a bus lane, zig-zags, a crossing and then a bus lane again. There is literally nowhere for us to park.

“If they charged for red routes it would be a terrible thing for everyone in this area.”

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Kazim Yildirim, manager of Caf� Renoir on Kentish Town Road, said: “This is a big issue for us. We have red routes all along outside our caf� and business is already bad enough at the moment.

“If people are not allowed to get out of their cars for five minutes to get a cup of coffee or a sandwich I don’t know how we will be able to survive. They need to do something to make things easier for us. This will make it worse.”

Stuart Clephane, manager of The Marylebone pub on Marylebone High Street, said: “It will immediately affect our suppliers who will have to pay for parking and won’t hesitate to pass on that cost to me. At the moment the last thing I need is more expensive supplies.”

Paul Pearson from told the Ham&High that the plan is not permitted by law. He said: “It is illegal to use traffic charges or enforcement to raise revenue. Boris Johnson should think about whether he wants to alienate motorists and businesses at this hard time.

“This will crucify the traders.”

A TfL spokesperson said they were committed to delivering �5bn of efficiency savings by 2017/18.

He said: “The Mayor outlined a number of additional steps that will be taken to deliver saving and efficiencies, enabling TfL to maintain investment in infrastructure and frontline services. One of these proposed steps was to charge for parking on the Transport for London Road Network (Red Route).

“TfL is confident it has the powers to charge for parking. However, proposals are at a very early stage and we will be consulting with all the boroughs and key stakeholders before any action is taken. We will ensure that proposals include full consideration of any potential impacts on businesses and residents.

“Further details of how this will work in practice will be announced in due course.”