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Parking charges at Derby Road car park ‘killing’ Woodford Green shops

PUBLISHED: 07:01 23 October 2015

Members of the Church End Conservatives Pranav Bhanot, Natasha Ahmed, Joel Herga and Sehreen Seleem at the Derby Road car park, Woodford Green. Along with others such as Cllr Emma Best, they are petitioning for Redbridge Council to extend its free 30 minutes parking policy there. Picture: Church End Conservatives

Members of the Church End Conservatives Pranav Bhanot, Natasha Ahmed, Joel Herga and Sehreen Seleem at the Derby Road car park, Woodford Green. Along with others such as Cllr Emma Best, they are petitioning for Redbridge Council to extend its free 30 minutes parking policy there. Picture: Church End Conservatives

Archant

Campaigners have launched a petition urging Redbridge Council to extend its free parking scheme to an area where businesses are being “killed” by the competition.

Cllr Emma Best, along with shopkeepers and residents, is calling on the local authority to bring in 30 minutes of free parking at the Derby Road car park, Woodford Green, close to High Road’s shopping parade.

The councillor and business owners have spoken to the Recorder about parking problems they have witnessed in the area, including vehicles parking on cycle lanes and residential driveways.

But a council spokesman said there are no plans to extend the scheme – for on-street pay and display spaces – to any car parks.

Cllr Best (Church End, Conservative) said: “It is killing them to be honest, the shopkeepers really are struggling a lot down here.

“They are competing with George Lane [South Woodford], which does have free parking to offer.

“People are always going to choose the places where they can have easy access.

“It seems only fair and good sense to extend the scheme.”

Sert Halil, 34, owner of the Whistle & Flute dry cleaner, High Road, called the situation “frustrating”.

He believes the parade would benefit from parking bays, as well as any potential free parking scheme.

“We pay our business rates and we don’t get anything back in truth,” Mr Halil said. “They [the council] need to do something about it, it doesn’t take Einstein to work it out.

“There’s no footfall here. We need to get people to come and use us.”

Jonathan Bray, owner of Venture Studio, High Road, cited parking issues in the road such as drivers “stopping off outside Tesco and trying to do U-turns, all sorts of stuff”.

He believes an extension of the initiative could “potentially alleviate” some of the problems.

Cllr Best added: “It is really dangerous.

“Obviously the free parking hasn’t created the parking issue there, but it has definitely exacerbated the problem that already existed.”

The council spokesman said the local authority is encouraging people to share their views through its parking consultation.

Visit redbridge.gov.uk for more and to see Cllr Best’s online petition, visit change.org.


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