Havering Council lowers parking charges
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:42 23 April 2015
The new parking charges have been lowered by Havering Council, following hundreds of complaints.
Residents were outraged earlier this month when parking prices increased by 400per cent, rising from 20p an hour to £1, with free parking for the first 20 minutes.
But after floods of complaints on social media, the council has decided to extend free parking to 30 minutes with a 10 minute “grace period” and £1 for up to two hours of parking.
Barry Hicks, the Havering Chamber of Commerce chairman, said: “I think this is a reasonable increase compared to the charges that were originally set.
“The council has not increased parking charges for several years so hopefully they won’t go up for some time.”
The boost to charges also caused concern for shop owners, fearing it would end up “killing” the high streets.
Despite decreasing prices, Cllr Stephanie Nunn (RG, Elm Park), remains cautious about their affects.
She said: “All the shops I’ve spoken to said their takings were down because some people did not understand that you got 20 minutes plus a 10 minute grace period.
“It’s improved slightly – I hope this will help them but has it gone far enough?”
A petition to amend charges attracted almost 2,000 signatures before the announcement was made.
Cheryl Coppell, chief executive of Havering Council, said: “The aim of having a period of free parking outside Romford was to encourage people to visit our high streets and support local businesses.
“We’ve recognised that this message may have been lost in the implementation of the new policy.”
Parking charges will be suspended this weekend outside Romford so the changes can be made.
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