Parking restrictions in ‘vibrant’ Woodford shopping area could be reviewed

A “vibrant shopping area” close to Woodford Tube station could have its parking restrictions reviewed, despite some councillors believing it could lead to commuters leaving their car “all day”.

Members argued that the current one hour restrictions between 2-3pm in the area of west of the station is not benefiting businesses, especially restaurants.

It was suggested restrictions should be moved to between 10-11am, at the area committee two meeting at Ray Lay Lodge Primary School, Snakes Lane East, on Tuesday.

The restrictions have been in place in the area for the last 20 years as a measure to stop commuters parking by the station for free.

Cllr Michael Stark said: “I have lived in the area most of my life and I ensure you both residents and businesses want it. It is important to make this change to keep the Broadway as a vibrant shopping area. This is a vital scheme and must be done soon.

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“If the committee don’t agree to this, there is already a local campaign being organised by traders.”

Cllr Paul Canal said: “There is pressure being placed on small shopping precincts because of the economy and big shopping centres, therefore it is important to support the unique character of parades like this one.”

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In 2011, a consultation was carried out to gauge the views of those living and working nearby, and results proved “inconclusive”.

Cllr Ian Bond said: “The difficulty I have with this is there is a lack of evidence that people want it.

“If this is such a vital issue then why has not one resident or shopkeeper come to this meeting to explain why this change is so desperately needed?

“I think this could lead to people turning up after the ban finishes and leaving their car there all day while they go shopping to Westfield or into London. We could be giving Woodford up for commuter parking.”

The committee voted by four votes to two to go ahead with the review, and a new consultation could be launched later this year as part of the current work programme.

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