RESIDENTS remain fiercely divided over plans for a controversial controlled parking zone in West Harrow.

Harrow Council has touted proposals for parking restrictions in two areas of the village to try to combat chronic congestion and parking chaos, particularly on the roads close to West Harrow tube station.

However, a group of residents has pledged to fight the proposed CPZ, arguing the council decided to impose the zone regardless of what locals think.

On Thursday, July 30, they forced a call-in meeting to reassess Councillor Susan Hall's decision to have full consultation on the plans.

Barry Jackson, chairman of the newly formed West Harrow Residents' Group, told the meeting: “We want to help the people of West Harrow alleviate the problem, but we don't think this scheme is good enough for West Harrow.”

But Cllr Hall, who is in charge of parking schemes in the borough, vociferously defended her decision, and pointed out the plans may still be shelved if rejected in a full consultation.

She said: “It makes no difference to me if West Harrow has a CPZ or not. I don't work there and I don't live there.

“But it is absolutely clear that in some areas there could be a requirement for a CPZ.

“I suspect the reason some people don't want a CPZ is because they don't want to suffer what those who want a CPZ are suffering at the moment – that's the complete inability to park anywhere near their house.”

The area around the tube station, and The Gardens in particular, is filling with parked cars on week days as commuters take advantage of the lack of parking controls.

The council has proposed two zones, covering parts of roads which indicated they would be in favour of a CPZ, but not covering areas of West Harrow against the scheme.

The residents' group has argued the scheme and the figures have been manipulated to make sure it is introduced, but Cllr Hall says this approach was deliberate the please as many residents as possible.

Residents from both side of the argument packed out the public gallery for last week's meeting, showing the strength of feeling surrounding the proposed CPZ.

A panel of councillors rejected the residents' attempts to block a full consultation, but that does not appear to have drawn a line under the matter.

Nick Goodheart, who spoke for the residents' group during the meeting, said afterwards: “We maintain the decision was made to go ahead with the CPZ from the word go. Any consultation will be to do with fine tuning the plans they have.

“We are seriously considering the judicial review approach.”

The Labour group on the council has come down on the side of the residents' group, and Councillor Bill Stephenson, leader of the group, said: “I am very disappointed this is being bulldozed through.

“It is a really great pity they didn't take the opportunity to enter into discussions to try to resolve the parking problems.”