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Harold Hill business owners angry at proposed parking restrictions

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:36 20 January 2016

Business and and residents have complained about the council's plan to install parking restrictions. Photo: Paul Bennett

Business and and residents have complained about the council's plan to install parking restrictions. Photo: Paul Bennett

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Businesses along two roads are concerned their livelihoods will be severely affected by the council's plan to impose parking restrictions.

Cars parked along traffic islands are said to cause an obstruction to buses along Petersfield Avenue. Photo: Paul BennetCars parked along traffic islands are said to cause an obstruction to buses along Petersfield Avenue. Photo: Paul Bennet

A map of the plans shows 10 pay and display parking bays will be subject to a three-hour maximum stay and no return within two hours on Petersfield Avenue in Harold Hill.

Maria Hayllar, 43, who runs Heavenly Beauty and Tanning Salon and Heavenly Ladies Gym, said the plans are not necessary and will have a negative effect on businesses.

“There are 22 shops and 22 flats, the council is proposing 10 parking spots for clients, shops and flats,” she said.

“The council say they are trying to fix a problem but there is no problem.”

A map enclosed with Havering Council's letter showing the area the parking restrictions are to be implemented.  Photo: Maria HayllarA map enclosed with Havering Council's letter showing the area the parking restrictions are to be implemented. Photo: Maria Hayllar

Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member for the environment, said the restrictions are to stop buses being forced into unsafe manoeuvres.

Currently, cars can park on the side of the road close to traffic islands, which makes it difficult for them to pass through.

Mark Freeman, TFL’s regional operations managers said: “Due to the temporary removal of road markings, there have been issues with route 498 buses accessing stops along the avenue.”

Cllr Benham added: “This can result in buses having to cross into the other lane, facing oncoming traffic.

Havering Council’s reasons for the parking proposals

Havering Council has said the plans, along with making the road safer for buses, will be more beneficial to customers.

Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member for the environment, said “The council is seeking to introduce pay and display bays to ensure that there is a regular turnover of spaces, which will benefit local businesses as customers will find it easier to park closer to the shops.

“We are seeking the views of local residents and businesses on the proposals to help us arrive at a solution that will benefit everyone.

“Bus operators have raised this issue with the Council and support the changes.”

In outer Romford, the council offers 30 minutes of free pay and display parking to all visitors and shoppers can also park for up to three hours for about £2.

Cllr Bentham said the price is “one of the lowest charges for a London local authority”.

The consultation closes on 29 January.

“This is clearly dangerous for both road users and pedestrians,” he said.

Speaking on Facebook, Nicky Hamliton said: “I’ve been on the bus when someone has parked by the bollards so no-one can get through and the bus was stuck there for about half hour.

“I do think something has to be done but charging isn’t the answer.”

Sally Pafnouti, 49, who runs The Barber Shop in Whitchurch Road, Harold Hill is confused why the plans include the neighbouring road.

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Alan Lewin: “Can see this having an impact if you are a patient at Petersfield Surgery, seems to me yet another scheme to produce revenue for the council because of the cuts in government funding.”

Mark Johnson: “It will probably take the council some 10 years plus to recoup the capital expenditure on the machines, my son lives at Petersfield, every time I visit its empty, hardly seems commercially viable.”

Wendy Bowerman Lawson: “This is ridiculous – I stop there often. They are forcing people to Tesco etc where you don’t have to pay to stop. How long is anyone ever there, two, three shops at most and off again. The side streets can’t cope with the amount of cars that will pull in to avoid the charge. So now it’s local shops and parks that are going to lose out.”

Jean Purvis: “Why don’t they put the double yellow lines back as before so buses are not restricted to get through the islands.”

“We have no congestion and no problems with parking.

“There is a clear route for buses and no reason to actually put the restrictions in.”

For eight years, the business woman has not put up prices to stay in competition with other hair salons.

She now worries that customers will avoid the area altogether if they have to pay for parking.

“If the council spoke to us about it and really explained their reasons, you might probably understand.

“But they don’t talk to us.”

Opposing the plans, Cllr Lawrence Webb (Ukip, Gooshays) said the plans will impact the shops.

He said: “Each time these things are introduced, it makes it much harder for smaller businesses to survive.

“People will just go to Tesco.”

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