Ilford traders say pay and display is hurting business

Traders claim there has been a dramatic drop in profit for businesses in Ilford Lane after new parking charges were introduced.

The shopping area has seen a 25 to 40 per cent drop in profits because of pay and display charges and roadworks over the past two years, they say.

Khalid Hussain, chairman of South Ilford Business Association (SIBA), said: “Whereas other shopping areas have been consulted we were suddenly presented with 7am to 7pm parking charges, seven days a week.

“The council are simply ignoring us and they have failed to do anything to help local business.”

The pay and display charges were previously 8am-6.30pm before they were extended by Redbridge Council as part of a borough-wide move earlier this year.

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Sunday is also no longer free to park as part of the changes.

Mr Hussain said: “The Sunday parking charges were the final nail in the coffin and will affect Ilford shopping as a whole. Shops are closing and the council just seems to be ignoring it.

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“Sunday is a major shopping day for the Asian ethnic community, which is what our shopkeepers rely on.”

The recession, combined with the uncertainty over a start date for the Ilford Lane road and pavement work, meant shops could not put up any festive decorations in 2009 to draw trade in, traders say.

Shokhi Khan, from IG Finance, said: “It is absolutely ridiculous. Sunday used to be the day, but there is simply no business left. Businesses are shutting down all over and I am considering moving to a different borough to trade.

“I don’t understand how the council expect businesses to improve and draw people into the borough after they do something like this – simply terrible.”

Once the work had begun it took over a year to complete causing profit to hit an all time low.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “The council is fully aware of the public reaction and the concerns being raised about the extension of the pay and display operational hours.

“The representation from SIBA along with views expressed by other organisations and individuals will be considered when the cabinet discusses parking strategy on September 6.”

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