Concerns have been raised over the trial of a 20-minutes free parking scheme launched in a busy shopping street this week.

Harrow Borough Council launched the pilot in and around Rayners Lane on Monday in a bid to encourage people to visit their local shops.

However leader of the Conservative group councillor Susan Hall has raised concerns about the scheme, which if successful could be rolled out borough-wide.

She said: “The concept of a period of free parking is wonderful one, and can be a real asset if done correctly; but equally it can be a disaster if it’s not done properly.

“And as I made clear to Independent Labour at Cabinet, my concern is that the scheme they’ve come up with is full of holes.

“Cllr. Asad Omar couldn’t explain how the scheme would be enforced; just saying he was ‘hopeful’ it wouldn’t be abused.

“The financial figures provided are also questionable, and if it costs more than expected it’s our residents who end up footing the bill.

“And with massive cuts planned for public realm and other services, we question if this scheme is the best way for money to be spent.

“The scheme Independent Labour have produced even suggests it might disadvantage the disabled, so I'm very concerned with them taking something so flimsy to trial – let alone rolling it out across Harrow.”

Herbert Crossman, who has been campaigning for better parking in Rayners Lane since 1995, cautiously welcomed the trial.

He said: “I think this is good thing for Harrow. If this trial is successful and it is rolled out across the borough then it will be great for small business.

“Small independent traders are really suffering at the moment, with high rents and high rates, they need more help.

“For some shops and businesses this is too late and in some parts of the borough were are on the verge of disaster and could see more empty shops.

“This parking trial is a small step in the right direction but I think it should be half an hour free parking across the whole borough.”