Parking changes are killing ‘golden retail cow’ say Temple Fortune traders

Shopkeepers claim cashless parking and a hike in fees is killing off the “golden retail cow” in Finchley Road.

Frustrated and failing businesses in Temple Fortune have blamed the overhaul of Barnet Council’s parking service for closures and a downturn in customers along the shopping thoroughfare.

Shoppers have told traders it has become too expensive to park since increases took effect in April.

A pay-by-phone service is also proving awkward for older customers.

Parking for more than four hours has soared by up to 64 per cent, while charges for 30-minute stops increased by 43 per cent in some areas.

In a letter to the council, Dr ... Jones, of Larizia luxury shoe and handbag shop in Finchley Road, writes: “The so-called ‘golden retail cow’ is quickly dying, the bloodletting of external costs and charges, which we have no control over – together with overzealous activities of the council are assisting in reducing or limiting the life steam of our business – customers.”

He claims the council will lose more in business rates from shop closures than it will gain from parking charges.

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A council spokesman said there a number of Paypoints in the area where residents can pay over the shop counter for parking tickets. The council is also set to release parking scratch cards following complaints from businesses and residents over the new scheme.

Council leader Cllr Richard Cornelius said: “We have been moving to pay-by-phone parking for several months now and I have no doubt that once people are registered this will be the most convenient way for residents to pay for their parking.”

Lorretta Paterson, owner of Temptation jewellery and gift shop, said: “We’re just all dying around here now. It’s just terrible, but I’m not prepared to shut up shop.

“What I would like to see is the council helping us. Give shoppers an hour for free and then make them pay.”

Up to four businesses along the stretch of road have already been forced to shut and others look set to follow.

Traders are collecting together letters from shopkeepers along the shopping parade to send to the council.