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Owners of Olive Tree Café, Collier Row: ‘Parking restrictions will kill our business’

Melih and Raz Kopca from the Olive Tree Café (front right) with the 400-signature petition and some of their supporters Melih and Raz Kopca from the Olive Tree Café (front right) with the 400-signature petition and some of their supporters

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
2:34 PM

The owners of a Collier Row café say planned double yellow lines opposite their shop could force them out of business.

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Melih and Raz Kopca from the Olive Tree CaféMelih and Raz Kopca from the Olive Tree Café

Now Mel and Raz Kopca, who run the Olive Tree Café in Chase Cross Road, have filled a 400-signature petition against the proposals, which they intend to hand to bosses at Havering Town Hall.

Havering Council is considering banning parking over the road from the parade of shops that includes the Olive Tree Café.

Parking is still available immediately outside business like the café, but Mr and Mrs Kopca believe it isn’t enough.

The council says the proposals will help ease congestion and reduce accidents.

But Mr and Mrs Kopca believe this could be done with less impact on their business.

“If they put a red line there, I’ll last another two months and I’ll have to close down,” said Mel, 44, of Havering Road.

“The roads do get congested, it’s true, but the council could come up with other solutions.

“The pavement is very wide at the front of the shops. They could make ‘half and half’ bays across the pavement and the road, so half the cars would be on the pavement and there’d still be room for pedestrians.”

His wife Raz added: “If the council is proposing a red route or double yellow lines, it should be providing parking bays [to replace the lost parking spaces].

“Putting restrictions there is going to give drivers the opportunity to speed because there will be an open, clear road.”

StreetCare boss Cllr Barry Tebbutt said the plans follow “a number of requests from the Metropolitan Police Service, Transport for London, ward councillors and residents following some very serious accidents on that part of the road”.

He added: “The proposals are about ensuring the safety of people using the road, which is our foremost priority, but we’ve always considered local businesses too.

“If implemented, I truly believe businesses wouldn’t be adversely affected due to the ample unrestricted parking available directly outside the shops and the surrounding area.”

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