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Merton Council plan to "increase parking" by blocking bays with bike racks
The council is proposing to “increase parking provision” in a road by blocking eight spaces at a business with a single bay and bike racks.
Ryan Marfleet, who opened Schmidt Kitchens in Wimbledon in February 2012 and uses eight forecourt parking spaces which are included in his lease, was stunned by Merton Council’s plans to introduce an on-street parking bay and a row of 11 bike racks running across his forecourt.
Despite the forecourt providing free parking for customers and staff at the premises for the past 30 years, the council said they were not legitimate bays and Mr Marfleet had no right to park on his own forecourt.
Mr Marfleet said: “The additional parking bay in the road will have a major impact, but the 11 bike stands is a nail in the coffin.
“Our staff and customers won’t be able to park and ultimately it will force us out of business in a very short time.
“The council should be supporting local business.
“I can’t understand the motivation behind their proposal at all.”
Brigitte Birch, who runs the London Pottery Company in Kingston Road, described parking enforcement in the area as “tyrannical”.
She said: “By putting these unreasonable parking restrictions everywhere it has stopped businesses functioning in the area.
“The council is adding to the problem rather than taking it away.”
Conservative Abbey Ward councillors, Diane Neil Mills and Henry Nelless, have both spoken out against the plans with Coun Nelless calling it “spiteful”.
Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, defended the plan.
He said: “We have written to Mr Marfleet to let him know there is no right of way for cars on the forecourt outside his shop and that it is illegal to drive on the pavement.
“We understand that there is a shortage of parking space in the area and are looking at how we might increase parking provision in Kingston Road.
“With the help of local businesses, we will also be reviewing parking in shopping areas across the borough.”
The final decision will rest with Coun Judge following consideration of responses from the