Haringey parking proposals split environmental campaigners and businesses over permit hikes

There will be a £50 surcharge on secondary permits if the plans are approved. Picture: Polly Hancock

There will be a £50 surcharge on secondary permits if the plans are approved. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Environmental campaigners are backing Haringey’s proposed parking hikes – but Muswell Hill and Crouch End businesses say they will “discourage shoppers” and “force the average person to pay more”.

Muswell Hill Broadway looking west. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Muswell Hill Broadway looking west. Picture: Dieter Perry. - Credit: Archant

Haringey Council is planning to raise primary parking permits by £10, impose a £50 fee for any additional permits and introduce an £80 surcharge for diesel cars in a series of proposals designed to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

If approved by the council in September, the changes will come into effect in November. The public consultation for the plans ends on Wednesday (June 24).

Deanna Bogdanovic, from the Muswell Hill traders association, said businesses struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic couldn’t afford “additional stress or overheads”.

Deanna urged the council to not “rush” the proposals, telling the Ham&High: “Increasing parking charges will have a huge negative impact as shoppers are more likely to continue shopping online even post-lockdown.

“We need to stimulate and motivate residents to use our local shops so our high street can survive and return to normal.

“The rise in prices will just discourage shoppers.”

Lewis Freeman, Crouch End Traders Association’s chair, said the plans would “force the average person to pay more”.

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He told this newspaper: “It feels to me like the average people of Crouch End are getting a rather rough deal out of the proposal, as it was quite clear in in recent polls that residents were happy with there to be no changes to the parking arrangements.”

Under the changes, daily visitor permits will rise to £4 in all controlled parking zone (CPZ) areas and the council will charge a £20 “administration fee” for processing parking refunds.

Friends of the Earth Haringey (FEH), which supports the plans, has campaigned for Haringey to follow the lead of other local authorities and introduce a diesel surcharge.

FEH co-ordinator Quentin Given said: “Air pollution is killing thousands of Londoners every year, while the climate emergency threatens our very existence.

“So we need to use every means to cut pollution and carbon emissions.

“We need a national plan to get away from petrol- and diesel-driven vehicles but in the meantime councils should use what means they have at their disposal to encourage the shift.”

The council says any “surplus income” will be ring-fenced for road improvements.

Quentin argues, by encouraging public transport, the proposals will actually aid drivers by “reducing the amount of traffic they have to contend with”.

Quentin added: “The fall in the price of road fuel since the lockdown means motorists are saving hundreds of pounds a year.

“Compared to that, the extra permit charges are small scale.”

Cllr Seema Chandwani, Haringey Council’s parking lead, said its consultation allowed residents to “share their views” and help determine whether higher polluting vehicles should “pay extra”.

Haringey Council will resume parking enforcement on July 6. For more information click here.

For more information on the parking proposals click here.