28 March 2013

Good news story - not in Barnet though


This is the kind of story Mr Mustard would like to read in Barnet.  Lambeth Council evidently listen harder to their traders than Barnet do. Hence that could be why West Norwood, which Mr Mustard knows well, is now doing reasonably well despite it not being a main town centre.

From the Standard
Shopkeepers were celebrating today after Lambeth council eased parking restrictions around their businesses which they claimed hit trade.

West Norwood High Street shoppers can now park free for an hour rather than just 30 minutes. Antonia Beamish, 41, owner of Beamish & McGlue grocery shop and café, said takings fell 30 per cent under the half-hour rule. “When we first opened in 2005, you were free to park all around this area,” she said. (Dean Cohen take note, this is what Barnet's traders have been saying, a 30% to 40% drop in trade due to removal of meters)

“About two years later, the council made the changes and it made a massive difference. We have been suffocated by these measures.” However, Miss Beamish insisted: “For a thriving high street, we need a two-hour free parking minimum and no restrictions on Saturdays.”

The changes came after Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said he wanted to end the “overzealous culture of parking enforcement” because the “rigid state orthodoxy of persecuting motorists” damages small businesses across the UK.

Parking meter charges of up to £3 an hour remain an issue in West Norwood, said Stav Tsoukkas, 32, who owns the Electric Café: “The tariffs are very high and although there are free bays, they get taken up very quickly.”

Imogen Walker, Lambeth council cabinet member for environment, said: “We have extended the time people can stop for free in parking bays along the High Street. Further free parking in side-street bays was extended to 60 minutes in December, which has made it easier for people who want to stop for a meal. (only if they bolt their food)

“We have been putting a stronger focus on making sure our civil enforcement officers are helpful to motorists, for example by advising them on where they can and can’t park.” (Helpful traffic wardens - gosh)

There is still scope for improvement in Lambeth. In Norwood Rd (that is the name of the road on which Beamish & McGlue are situated) from 1 April 12 to 28 February 13 there were 267 parking tickets issued by a traffic warden on foot and 2801 by stealthy cctv. That will be about £200,000 that the council have raked in from penalty charges.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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