Redbridge businesses welcome free on-street parking scheme
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 September 2014
A free parking scheme being extended across Redbridge has been welcomed as a “good step forward” in helping boost trade.
Geoff Hill, chairman of the Redbridge Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the scheme to introduce 30 minutes’ free on-street parking in Redbridge, with 20 minutes free in Ilford town centre.
He said he hoped it would encourage “convenience shopping” for items such as newspapers.
“This is something we’ve been banging on about for a long, long time,” he said.
“We are very supportive of the free parking time, even though it’s quite short.”
Mr Hill said while it was important to provide ample and affordable parking for more substantial trips, he did not think a longer free period was a realistic option.
“On the other hand, we’ve got to consider the fact of out-of-town supermarkets. There needs to be a balance,” he said.
“It’s a good step forward.”
He said the chamber wanted to see a “longer term strategy” from the council over how to bring shoppers to Redbridge.
“We can have lots of people living in the borough, but if you want a vibrant and exciting place that attracts people, you need to have good business activity,” added the chairman.
Redbridge Council began rolling out the scheme at its on-street pay and display bays last week.
Councillor Baldesh Nijjar, cabinet member for environment, said: “We promised residents and businesses that we would make changes to ensure parking was a cheaper and simpler affair in the borough and we are doing just that.
“We want to encourage people to use our shops and businesses and we know that parking fees can be the difference between someone making the journey to their local business or taking their money elsewhere.”
Tariffs on machines will be changed over the next few weeks.
The council said motorists would still need to get a ticket from a machine – taking into account the free period – or face a penalty charge.
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