Parking charges on the up
Robyn Rosen PARKING charges have increased in Muswell Hill and Crouch End in the same week that transport bosses met traders to begin their review of the controversial Stop and Shop scheme. Haringey Council launched the scheme in Crouch End and Muswell H
PARKING charges have increased in Muswell Hill and Crouch End in the same week that transport bosses met traders to begin their review of the controversial Stop and Shop scheme.
Haringey Council launched the scheme in Crouch End and Muswell Hill last year to make more parking spaces available for shoppers.
Pay and display facilities for a restricted period were introduced for a restricted period to attract more visitors.
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But many residents, traders and visitors have argued that the scheme actually confuses drivers, reduces trade and puts shoppers off.
Under a new pay-and-display system, which takes effect on Monday, charges in Muswell Hill and Crouch End will increase from �1.10 per hour to �1.40, an increase of almost 30 per cent.
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Road boss Cllr Brian Haley said: "Our aim is to make the parking system simpler for residents, but we're also aware that local businesses need a parking model that allows for greater turnover of parking spaces in very busy areas.
"I am confident that this new model will reflect the needs of local businesses while being simple and convenient for residents who shop in different locations across the borough."
But traders are furious about the changes after they met with council transport officers last Thursday (June 4) to discuss a review of the system and were assured that changes would relieve some of their problems.
At the meeting, traders bombarded officers with suggestions including free parking at certain times to encourage shoppers, reducing ticket costs, ensuring hours are consistent throughout the shopping streets and removing yellow lines from bays to prevent tickets being issued outside of bay hours.
Tony Kennedy, transport officer, said: "We have restrictions because during certain times in the day when traffic is at its greatest we try to restrict parking to help traffic flow.
"But we will be looking at changing the times to allow greater parking availability.
"Free parking for a period of time is something that has been put forward by each of the traders' groups in the borough and is something we'll look into further. If it is feasible, we will have to work out how we can enforce it."
Jack Kallou, owner of Ethos in Muswell Hill Broadway, said: "I'm not happy about these changes. It does seem a bit contradictory to what they were implying in the meeting,
"It's not in line with inflation either. We're in difficult times and this is not the time to put prices up. There's no real justification. If they want to make it consistent, why don't they make it the lower price? They're just not helping."