Havering shop owners: ‘Faulty parking meters have lead to 30pc drop in customers’

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 December 2017

Broken pay and display machines have led to a downturn in business for shops on Hilldene Avenue

Broken pay and display machines have led to a downturn in business for shops on Hilldene Avenue


Broken pay and display machines and “overzealous” traffic wardens are damaging business, according to shop owners on a popular Havering high street.

Broken pay and display machines have led to a downturn in business for shops on Hilldene AvenueBroken pay and display machines have led to a downturn in business for shops on Hilldene Avenue

Shopkeepers on Hilldene Avenue say they have seen significant reductions in customers after the introduction of pay and display machines in the public car park opposite their road two years ago.

Mark Rising, owner of F & J Caring & Sons Butcher shop, spoke of seeing a 30pc reduction in customers since the pay 
and display meters were introduced.

“To be honest they’ve never worked properly,” said the 61-year-old, when asked when the problem first started. “Six of them are out of order.

“The traffic wardens are almost overzealous in their work,” he added.

“When people get a ticket they get penalised and they don’t want to come and use the shops anymore.”

“I have seen some people running to the nearest working ticket machine which is about 75 metres away and running back because the traffic warden is writing them a ticket.”

Kim Bird, co-owner of Comet Carpets, also claims to have seen a “significant drop” in customers in connection to faulty pay and display machines.

“We have seen customers drive in and then see the machine is broken and drive away.”

Both shop owners say they have complained to Havering Council but it is yet to repair the faulty machines or address business owners’ suggestions 
for changing the charging system.

A Council spokesperson said: “We are aware that two of the nine machines in the Hilldene shopping area are experiencing issues and apologise for this inconvenience.

“We are working closely with the supplier to solve these issues and we are reviewing the positioning of machines as well as the signage, to better inform residents and visitors of all available methods of payment.

“As soon as we are aware of a problem with any of the machines, our Civil Enforcement team will cease enforcement in the specific location.

“However, if anyone has received a penalty charge notice in error, we encourage them to appeal and we will certainly review their case.”

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