Highgate Christmas Festival’s parking restrictions divide high street traders

A row has broken out between Highgate’s shopkeepers over parking restrictions on the day of the village’s popular annual Christmas lights festival.

Three high street traders are furious that parking bays in South Grove will be suspended all day on Saturday, November 22 to allow emergency service vehicles to access Pond Square.

They claim the parking restrictions will cause the high street’s independent businesses to suffer a significant loss in trade during the busy festive season.

“We’ve got nothing against the lights at all,” Robert Sinfield, of Le Chocolatier, said. “It’s all right for the cafes and restaurants because most of them are chains but the independents, which are the core of the village, lose out.”

However, festival organisers Highgate Festive Events, a team of high street traders, strongly rebuked the claims and said it was a case of “bah humbug”.

Camden’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability Cllr Sally Gimson said: “The temporary parking restrictions scheduled for November 22 are to help people attend the festival with the minimum amount of disruption to the local neighbourhood, whilst also ensuring that vehicles of the emergency services can still safely access the area.”