New parking rules are driving away shoppers

INDEPENDENT retailers in Muswell Hill have this week warned the council that its draconian parking measures are driving customers away. Peter Kay runs tomfoolery jewellers in Fortis Green Road with his wife Nicki

Charlotte Newton

INDEPENDENT retailers in Muswell Hill have this week warned the council that its draconian parking measures are driving customers away.

Peter Kay runs tomfoolery jewellers in Fortis Green Road with his wife Nicki.

The independent jeweller specialises in contemporary jewellery and has an established clientele from all over north London.


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But the shop has felt the brunt of stringent parking measures which the council recently introduced.

Mr Kay said: "Muswell Hill has always been a destination area for shoppers because there is no tube.

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"The combination of high street shops and independent boutiques attracts people who want to come and browse.

"But since Haringey Council introduced a two-hour parking restriction, it has made shopping much less relaxing for people.

"Customers can no longer shop and have lunch in Muswell Hill because tow trucks circulate like sharks looking for cars to remove.

"There's no need for pay and display machines in this area - people should be able to park for free. It's just another stealth tax."

Shoppers have to buy a parking ticket to park in Fortis Green Road between 9.30am and 5pm. But confusingly, there are different parking measures in Princes Avenue - which has resulted in some drivers having their cars towed away.

Dani Bernstain lived in Muswell Hill for 20 years before recently moving to Southgate.

She said: "The new parking measures have definitely made people less keen to shop in Muswell Hill and when they do come they are more pressurised by time. It's becoming very anti-social and I do appreciate why independent retailers are unhappy.

"We need to support them to maintain the unique shopping area in Muswell Hill. But how can we support them if we can't park?"

Matt Richardson, 22, works in the Flower Seller in Fortis Green Road.

He claims that parking attendants sit in Smart Cars on Fortis Green Road, ready to swoop on unsuspecting shoppers whose parking tickets have just expired.

He said: "We've had some customers who popped in to buy a bunch of flowers on their way home only to discover that their parking ticket expired two minutes ago and they have been lumbered with a £60 fine.

"It's definitely putting people off shopping."

But Haringey Council's regeneration and enterprise boss, Councillor Kaushika Amin said: "We've introduced a "Stop and Shop" scheme in Muswell Hill which is designed to increase the turnover of visitors to the shopping area by preventing motorists from leaving their vehicles in parking bays all day."

charlotte.newton@hamhigh.co.uk

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