Traders and residents blast ‘misguided’ Cranham parking scheme

�Residents have hit out at council plans to introduce pay-and-display bays in their village which they claim will damage their businesses.

Traders and councillors are rallying against the proposals by Havering Council for Cranham.

Cranham Cllr Clarence Barrett (RA) said: “Proposals like this go to prove that this Conservative controlled council has no idea about local economies.

‘Deter custom’

“This unbelievable, misguided scheme will simply act to deter custom, reduce trading and is likely to lead to the closure of local shops and businesses.”

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The proposals will see pay- and-display bays on one side of Moor Lane with double yellow lines outside shops on the opposite side.

They include six bays in the Front Lane layby outside Cranham Social Hall. The charges would be effective from 9.30am to 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

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Traders say the plans would cause the loss of parking spaces and they are concerned about the impact it would have on buses.

Dean Preston, owner of Prestons Village Bakery, said: “Shops like mine are already competing with the supermarkets, this just makes the challenge greater.

“It really feels like this council doesn’t support small businesses.”

Annette Spelman, manager of Broadway Hairdressers, said: “People will not pay to shop locally if they can go elsewhere to park for free.”

Residents have until Friday (January 27) to send their views to the council before the plans go to the highways advisory committee.

Traders are calling for timed free parking and “two-wheel up” parking on one side of Moor Lane to prevent parking spaces being lost.

Cllr Barrett said: “The margins for small businesses is incredibly tight and against a backdrop of a general economic downturn, the imposition of scheme like this will only made life much more difficult for our local economies.”

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for environment, said: “We have written to nearly 200 residents and traders seeking views on the proposals and we welcome the views of the Residents’ Association as part of the consultation.”

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