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Muswell Hill parking rules scrapped

PUBLISHED: 11:58 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:36 07 September 2010

Muswell Hill traders meet councillors

Muswell Hill traders meet councillors

Charlotte Newton CONFUSING parking rules which have led to drivers being stung with fines or having their cars towed away, are to be scrapped by Haringey Council. A parking officer met with traders in Muswell Hill on Monday to deliver the good news that

Charlotte Newton

CONFUSING parking rules which have led to drivers being stung with fines or having their cars towed away, are to be scrapped by Haringey Council.

A parking officer met with traders in Muswell Hill on Monday to deliver the good news that the system will be abandoned next Thursday.

Traders were over the moon to hear that the present unpopular rules would be scrapped after repeatedly telling the council that the draconian rules were driving shoppers away.

George Georgiou of Toffs Fish and Chip shop, said: "My staff spent their time explaining the parking restrictions to customers and shoppers to stop them from getting a parking ticket. Now they will be able to concentrate on serving chips."

Shoppers will now be able to park from 8am to 6.30pm for two hours from Monday to Saturday throughout Muswell Hill.

Felix Felix of JHK Estate Agents, said: "We've all become parking wardens in Muswell Hill - telling people where they can and cannot park. This is the first time there has been any coherent thought about parking and the impact it will have on the area."

Introduced in 2007, the pay and display bays were designed to ensure there was a high turnover of shoppers in the village, as drivers were only allowed to buy a parking ticket for two hours.

But the ambiguous signs meant that during the past two years, scores of motorists have been caught out. Many received tickets or had cars towed away because they did not realise that there was no parking before 8.30am or after 4pm, 4.30pm or 5pm, depending on the street.

Parking officer Vincent Valerio said that the council changed the rules after more than 200 residents and traders said they found them confusing in a survey.

The council will create two new parking bays in The Broadway and four new loading bays (in St James's Lane and The Broadway) as part of the scheme.

Sud Ashra of Robert Bale Jewellers said: "The pay and display scheme was a good idea but it was very badly implemented and the ambiguity of the parking signs and complexity of the restrictions confused people. I'm pleased that someone from the council has actually sat down and thought about this."

Jack Kallou, owner of Ethos shoe shop in The Broadway, said: "I saw a lady who had been shopping in Sainsbury's return to her car and it was being towed. The current parking signs say you have to buy a ticket after 9.30am but she hadn't realised it was no parking before then.

"Another time, I saw a man with a bag of shopping in one hand and his baby in the other. They were towing his car and he asked if he could at least get his house keys out of the car before it was taken but the pound people said no. These sorts of scenarios put people off coming to Muswell Hill to shop."

Haringey Council leader, Cllr Claire Kober, said: "After listening to traders we looked at the situation to see if there was any way we could help without affecting traffic flow or encouraging commuter parking. We hope these changes will help address their concerns."

The new scheme will be trialled for six months initially.


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