‘Parking cameras are killing us’ say Maida Vale traders

Unnecssary parking tickets are killing business on a Maida Vale high street but raking in cash for the council, traders have complained.

Unnecessary parking tickets are killing business on a Maida Vale high street but raking in some �200,000 for the council, traders have complained.

Statistics released under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request showed the council fined 1,543 motorists on Elgin Avenue over the last year.

Traders say the discreetly placed cameras, which catch people who park for a matter of minutes, are driving customers out of the area.

Raj Kapadia, manager of Harlequin Specialist Dry Cleaners said: “When a regular customer comes in and just wants to drop their suit on their counter and get going, what’s the harm in that?

“The customers who have had a ticket have come in and told me they won’t come back here again.

“It’s killing business, but the council won’t listen because at the end of the day the money that comes from the cameras is paying their wages.”

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Staff at Williams Chemists said even people with mobility issues, who have no choice but to drive to pick up their prescriptions, have been hit with �130 fines.

The cameras are placed on the corner of Lanark Road and Maida Vale, with no obvious sign warning motorists they risk a fine for parking.

The short stretch, home to a number of independent businesses, has parking bays, which means pulling up does not cause traffic jams.

James Cooke manager of Channel One Video said: “For people just pulling up for two seconds to drop a video off to get a ticket is outrageous. It’s a real nail in the coffin.”

Adam Saab manager of Adam Supermarket added: “It’s taken trade down by 30 or 40 per cent. Even the vans loading for the shop get hit. They are allowed 20 minutes, but sometimes that isn’t enough.”

The figures show the council made more than �200,000 in fines from the cameras.

Paul Pearson, a parking campaigner who made the FOI request, said: “I think it’s a disgrace. That’s 1,543 people that will no longer be shopping in Elgin Avenue at a time when traders are struggling anyway.”

Leith Penny, Westminster City Council’s strategic director for city management, said the tickets were a result of drivers parking on yellow lines.

He said: “The fact that PCNs have been given shows that drivers are blatantly ignoring signs and road markings, which can often be to the detriment of other groups, from kerb access for pedestrians to space for loading and unloading which impacts businesses.”