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Hatch End businesses are furious over changes to parking regulations
Traders in Hatch End are furious about changes to parking regulations they claim will kill their trade.
Shopkeepers are angry because they say Harrow Borough council’s plan to introduce double yellow lines and pay and display parking to Hatch End's high street would further restrict the already limited parking.
Last year the council converted bays on The Broadway to disabled parking which shopkeepers said remain empty for most of the day.
Haresh Patel, manager of Hatch End Post Office in The Broadway, said: “There are 11 disabled bays are on one side of the road alone, four of which are outside my shop and no one uses them.
“Instead of making things easier for the shopkeepers they are driving trade away.
“The council are going to spend £70,000 on a parking meter, why don’t they use that money to do something useful for the community.”
On Tuesday the council announced a policy that would give shoppers 20 minutes' free parking during the run-up to Christmas.
In response to this news Mr Patel added: “In Hillingdon they get half an hour of free parking all year round.
“Whoever designed the parking system is the biggest idiot in the world.”
Mike Allenby, co-chairman of the Hatch End Traders Association, said: “We have been told that the slip road is going to stay free but the car park is going to be pay and display and there will be double yellow lines everywhere else.
“The council say it’s being done because we are the only area in the borough with free parking.”
Mr Allenby believes the plans are a moneymaking scheme.
He added: “The 20p and 30p charges won’t make a difference. It’s about the £60 fines.
“In the council consultation, 63 per cent of residents said leave it as it is and only 37 per cent said change it.
“But Councillor Phillip O’Dell, portfolio holder for environment and community safety, said we have to listen to the significant minority.
“They were going to do it from the start - the consultation was just a show.”
Independent councillor Stanley Sheinwald believes the 20 minutes of free parking is a political gimmick.
He said: “Shops are closing every week in Hatch End and the public wants at least half an hour of free parking.
“If they can do this in the run up to Christmas then why can’t they do it all year round?"
Cllr Sheinwald added: “If this isn’t resolved it’s going to kill off the trade.”
The Harrow Times is awaiting a response from the council.