Pay and dismay: Plans to introduce parking fees in Wanstead High Street
14:42 30 November 2016
A leaked document shows Redbridge Council plans to introduce pay & display machines along Wanstead High Street from February next year.
The plans could be trialled for up to 18 months under an “experimental traffic regulation order”, and paid permits may also be introduced for residents who live in roads just off High Street.
The proposal to introduce permits caused a storm of protest – including a public petition against it – when it was first proposed in 2011.
The plans show that if approved, shoppers will have 30 minutes of free parking before having to pay a charge. They will then be charged £1.20 for up to one hour and £2.90 for two hours.
Cllr John Howard, cabinet member for environment and sustainability told the Recorder: “If you’ve been down Wanstead High Street, you will know it’s impossible to park. People park there for the whole day.
“We are hoping these changes will allow you to meet your friends for a coffee and stop by and do some shopping once the spaces are freed up.”
Cllr Howard said he was confident businesses would back these plans, and that they were designed to support the High Street’s shops.
But others fear introducing the charges will not only drive away many potential customers, but force some to park in nearby residential roads causing a headache for homeowners.
Cllr Sue Nolan (Con, Snaresbrook) said that she hoped residents would be consulted before the plans were introduced.
She said: “There is a problem with it, residents are getting fed up of people parking outside the house all day when they go to the station.
“But residents need to be included. Many people pay a premium to live in Wanstead and if you own two cars, paying for the permits could potentially be very expensive.”
Cllr Howard confirmed there would be a consultation: “We are holding two drop in sessions in Wanstead Library, and I’m looking forward to hearing residents’ views.”