New Shop and Stop schemes branded an affront to democracy
By Marijke Peters PARKING meters are clocking shoppers today as a controversial new pay and display policy comes into force. Stop and Shop schemes have been introduced in Crouch End and Muswell Hill despite massive opposition from residents and businesses
By Marijke Peters
PARKING meters are clocking shoppers today as a controversial new pay and display policy comes into force.
Stop and Shop schemes have been introduced in Crouch End and Muswell Hill despite massive opposition from residents and businesses.
And many have predicted widespread confusion as drivers get to grips with the new rules.
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Martin Brophy from the Muswell Hill Against CPZ group said: "I think there will be confusion and we will see the reality of what displacement parking is all about. The council has created the problem for people living in the area immediately around the shopping district because drivers will start to steal their spaces.
"The council hasn't listened to us and we live here and said no to the plans but it has gone ahead with it anyway. It's a sad day for democracy."
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A public consultation about the scheme last year sparked a major protest, with 98 per cent of responses opposing the idea.
And after complaints from Lib Dem councillors, as well as residents during a second consultation, the council agreed to review the viability of the scheme in six month's time.
Pay and display charges start at 20p for 20 minutes and go up to £1 for an hour and £2.50 for two hours.
Environment chief Cllr Brian Haley said: "We believe the pay and display schemes are the best possible way to solve the parking problems in Muswell Hill and Crouch End and we are confident that visitors will now find it much easier to find a parking space in both areas. I would like to thank all the residents and traders who commented on the stop and shop proposals. These led us to make significant modifications and, I believe, significant improvements to both schemes.
"We will formally review the impact of stop and shop in both areas after 12 months, but I look forward in the meantime to hearing the views of residents and traders on the scheme."
Lib Dem councillor Martin Newton said: "The council admits the surrounding residential streets are already at saturation point and for them to introduce pay and display parking provision in flats about the shopping area will only make things worse.
"We have set up an online petition for people to let us know what they think and it will provide a clear idea of whether the scheme should stay, be altered or just removed altogether."
o The petition is available at www.libertyresearch.org.uk/take/97