Green light to Haringey parking charges hike

Pay and display in Crouch End and Muswell Hill set to more than double

PLANS to double the cost of Crouch End and Muswell Hill pay and display tickets and increase the price of doctor’s parking charges by �200 have been given the green light by Haringey councillors.

Labour party members at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday agreed the plans, which will also see residential permits rocket by up to 66 per cent – there will now be a statutory 21 day consultation on the scheme, and they will come into effect unless there are “major objections”.

Introducing the report, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, Cllr Nilgun Canver, said she was confident Haringey would retain its place in the middle of the London-wide parking charges table as she expected other boroughs to also increase their prices. She also welcomed the introduction of a special permit for carers.

The plans would see an hour’s parking in Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Green Lanes rise from �1.40 to �3, a move branded extortionate by traders in the Broadway last week.

Doctors in the borough will no longer pay �45 a year for a parking space, but will instead each have to shell out �240 for a permit to bring them in line with the charges other businesses face.

Cabinet member Dilek Dogus backed the plans, saying: “I think it’s only right the council treat doctors as businesses, because that’s essentially what they are.

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“I really value the work they do, but to give them a discount where they are still businesses is not right in this financial climate.”

Leader Cllr Claire Kober agreed, saying: “It is under a pound a day and we would argue most GPs have a significantly higher income that many of our small business owners and I think parking for under a pound a day is OK.”

Visitor permits will also increase by 50 per cent, traders’ charges will go up 20 per cent, as will business permits.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Crouch End Lyn Weber questioned the amount of money being raised by the parking department, stating the service had raked in �3million in 2009/10, but Cllr Kober countered: “This was a service that was not covering its costs, but in the new world of the council we are going to have to look at these things because the cuts we are facing are savage.”

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Weber called on the authority to state publicly how much the new charges will raise and why the council has targeted business users and customers.

“The Labour council has decided to hike charges that will hit local independent businesses and shopkeepers at the worst possible time.

“Many have struggled through the recession and now the council want to hit traders when they are down,” she said.

“By doubling the charges for shoppers visiting Green Lanes, Crouch End and Muswell Hill, the council has given the green light for an exodus of shoppers out of our town centres, to Brent Cross, Westfield and other boroughs.”

“The Council need to make public the evidence that their proposals are fair and sustainable.”

MP for the area Lynne Featherstone also slammed the increases, saying: “It is very concerning that, at a time when some local businesses are struggling to get back on their feet, the council are hitting them with higher charges.”