Hampstead trader claims traffic camera is ‘killing’ business
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A Hampstead trader who has been in the area for 40 years has blamed traffic cameras for driving away customers and threatening the survival of his business.
Regulars picking up bulky items from Belsize Stationers have been fined £130 for using the loading bay outside the shop in South End Road.
Last month, four customers were issued with parking tickets and some have told the owner of the shop, Arvind Mistry, that they will not return.
Mr Mistry, who has rented the premises for 25 years, has called on Camden Council, which operates the camera, to exercise common sense and stop “harassing” his customers.
Mr Mistry, 56, had to shut England’s Stationers in Finchley Road in June 2011 because of a similar problem.
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He said: “This will drive me out of business, kill local trade and drive customers to supermarkets and online shopping. That’s why so many local businesses are closing down.
“It’s a total nuisance. I’ve already had to shut down once because of traffic cameras.
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“All the traders are suffering and with things like this it will force people to shut up shop for good.
“We all agree with restrictions but there should be some common sense applied.”
Not only are his customers being hit with fines, but delivery drivers who park in South End Green are also being ticketed, claims Mr Mistry.
The shopkeeper, whose family also own House of Mistry Pharmacy a few shops down, claims tickets are issued when the camera registers more than three minutes passing without activity.
The council said tickets are issued after five minutes when there is no sign of loading.
Cllr Phil Jones, cabinet member for sustainability, said: “We understand the need to provide for customers and deliveries where there are local shops.
“We allow a minimum of five minutes to observe whether loading or unloading is taking place, and have provided pay and display parking for customers.
“We have reviewed the CCTV footage for the loading bay on South End Road. Penalties are issued when vehicles park here without loading or unloading. Our review found no errors with penalty charges in these cases.”