Harrow Borough Council has reacted to traders’ claims that CCTV monitoring of parking is “killing off trade”.
The council argues that there is nowhere suitable for the creation of new parking spaces and claims that one of the key reasons for the fall in business is the closure of the Goodwill To All pub.
Harrow Council portfolio holder for environment and community safety, Councillor Phillip O’Dell, said: “We are aware of the problems facing traders in Headstone Drive regarding parking spaces for customers which is why we have installed twelve extra parking bays to provide more parking for people visiting the area.
“There is nowhere else at the junction of Headstone Drive where additional parking spaces can be put in place.
“This is an extremely busy junction and since the closure of the Goodwill pub there have been fewer people visiting the area.
“However, the pub has been redeveloped into flats and when these properties become occupied there will be new residents and potential for trade.”
Cllr O’Dell’s comments come after business owners told the Harrow Times that they feel they are being “punished”, blaming t the camera installed at the corner of Headstone Drive and Harrow View in 2010 for a 25 per cent drop in sales.
The area has no on-street parking and the CCTV recording, initially installed to combat crime, is being used to enforce the strict parking regulations.
Traders claim that potential customers no longer stop at the shops because they are worried they may receive a fine.
They are angry and worried about their “bread and butter income”, complaining that in other parts of Harrow shoppers are given an hour’s free on-street parking.
Mr G Davada, 67, owner of Londis on the corner of Headstone Drive and Harrow Drive, said: “There is no parking. We have been here 38 years and we are struggling to survive.”
He added: “We were told the camera was put for security and crime.
“There is no crime in this area.”
Businesses and customers petitioned Harrow Borough Council in 2008 to install more parking bays.
But nothing was done until March last year when the council built 12 new spaces in Headstone Drive for shoppers to use.
Traders say this is not enough and want the CCTV camera gone.
Yianinis Chirstofis, who has been running Barracuda Fish Takeaway and Restaurant on Headstone Drive for 15 years, said: “The council don’t want to get rid of the camera because it is bringing more money in.
“We have always thought of ourselves as a benefit to the community. We have invested so much, over so many years and the investment is being ignored.”
Mr Alkesh Desai, 52, owner of Desons Limited on Harrow View, said the camera is killing local trade, making it harder for small businesses to compete with high street shops.
He said: “It’s driving away a whole lot of customers.”