Jun 28 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
MOTORISTS and traders in Hatch End are disappointed parking charges are a step closer to being introduced along the main road, despite public opposition.
After a long campaign by traders and neighbours, and a public consultation that revealed 60 per cent of people in the area were opposed to Harrow Council’s plans, the proposals were approved for statutory consultation at a meeting on Thursday last week.
Charges will be introduced in Uxbridge Road, outside the overground station and in Grimsdyke car park, which services a meeting hut for Scout and Guide groups.
Mike Allenby, co-chair of Hatch End Traders’ Association, which was formed in a reaction against parking charges a number of years ago, said it will continue to fight the plans.
He said: “We are still working out what the best way is to proceed, but we will argue strongly for one hour’s free parking. After a long consultation in which 60 per cent of people were against the plans, they just seemed to have ignored that completely.”
At the traffic and road safety advisory panel committee meeting, three councillors voted in favour of the plans, three abstained and chairman, Councillor Mrinal Choudhury, cast the deciding vote in favour.
Although the plans state charges will be 20p an hour, Mr Allenby said the association will be ‘keeping a close eye on what the charges will be’ in case they rise.
Tony Allen, chairman of the Hatch End Residents’ Association, said: “We are hoping to meet up with councillor Philip O’Dell, the portfolio holder, but we are very disappointed that the changes will go through, considering the results of the public consultation. It clearly showed that there was a majority of people who were against any charges.”
Owner of Whirligig women’s clothes shop in Uxbridge Road, Shirley Steedman, has worked in the area for 35 years and backs the charges.
She said: “I am in favour of the charges and seem to be in the minority. Every day customers come in and say they have real trouble finding a parking space because traders and residents park for days on end in the bays in the Broadway. We need to take the lead from Hillingdon and have half an hour free or a nominal parking charge.”
Under the changes, motorists will pay 20p per hour in Grimsdyke car park on Monday to Saturday daytimes; 10p per 20 minutes or £4 for for more than six hours in bays near Hatch End Station, while changes are also proposed for residential streets surrounding the Broadway.
A council spokeswoman said: “The council chose to hold a public consultation regarding the parking proposals for Hatch End. We were not obliged to do this, but we wanted to get an overall feel of how residents feel about the issues.
“No decision has been made and there is now going to be a second round of consultation where we would again like to encourage all residents to submit their views and opinions.”