Anger as free parking scheme scrapped in North Harrow's Cambridge Road Car Park

This Is Local London: Traders, pictured with James Bond, give the new scheme an overwhelming thumbs down Traders, pictured with James Bond, give the new scheme an overwhelming thumbs down

It now costs more to leave your car in North Harrow than it does to buy a pint of milk or a loaf of bread after a free parking scheme was scrapped.

Harrow Borough Council has recently brought in charges of 80p per hour at its Cambridge Road car park - despite a petition of more than 3,000 signatures.

Traders say they have noticed a dramatic fall in customers since the charges were introduced on January 6.

Robbie Nevins, manager at Wenzels Bakery in Pinner Road, said: “Customers are getting very fed up and they say they aren’t going to come in anymore.

“And when it costs them more to park than it does to buy a loaf of bread, who can blame them?”

The hour's free parking was introduced to the car park in 2004, and many shops used it as a selling point.

Jade Pharmacy still has a banner advertising the free car park on their shop front, which staff now say is an “ironic” reminder of what used to be.

Manager Manoj Sheth said: “It’s been terrible. Customers have been complaining and we can’t expect them to pay 80p to pick up a prescription.

“It’s gone quiet around here since this happened and we’ve lost the blood that keeps this place flowing.”

Although there are plans to introduce 20 minutes of free parking in the high streets, this will not extend to the borough’s car parks.

The meter does not give change - meaning those who put a £1 coin into the meter to park for one hour are left 20p out of pocket.

The Gym, which opened last year, costs just £17.99 for a monthly membership - but if customers spend around one hour there every day of the week, parking could cost £20.

Pinner resident Joyce Wersky said: “It’s sad as the gym opened on the premise that there would be free parking. Quite frankly, the whole scheme is a recipe for disaster."

Paul’s Barbers, a family owned business, say they have lost 25 per cent in takings this month and are struggling to stay afloat.

David Fishburn, owner of Inform Print & Design, added: “Scrapping this scheme is wasteful. I think it will kill North Harrow.”

Independent councillor James Bond launched a petition against the charges, and is now supporting a new petition by Harrow Council's Labour group.

Cllr Bond said: “It’s a bitter blow for North Harrow. This is grossly unfair. We don’t want people to give up on North Harrow. It used to be booming - but this will turn it into a ghost town again.”

A statement from council leader Councillor Susan Hall said: "The one hour of free parking in North Harrow was removed and charges were introduced prior to us forming the council's administration, but parking charges need to be fair for everyone and the new rates are now in line with other car parks across the borough.

“The proposed 20-minute free parking scheme is aimed at encouraging short stay, high turnover on-street parking, which there is lots of demand for, and would not be suitable for car parks where motorists usually park for longer periods."

Comments (6)

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11:35pm Tue 11 Feb 14

rabbitz says...

Surely people who live in North Harrow can walk to their local shops why do they need to drive ?
Surely people who live in North Harrow can walk to their local shops why do they need to drive ? rabbitz

8:34am Wed 12 Feb 14

jayjoe says...

rabbitz wrote:
Surely people who live in North Harrow can walk to their local shops why do they need to drive ?
They don't *need* to drive but some have to - particularly elderly and disabled residents.
[quote][p][bold]rabbitz[/bold] wrote: Surely people who live in North Harrow can walk to their local shops why do they need to drive ?[/p][/quote]They don't *need* to drive but some have to - particularly elderly and disabled residents. jayjoe

1:47pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Harrow Dude says...

Susie you really must stop stop blaming Labour / ILG for things that they have done but you as Leader of the currently non-elected administration have the power to change. The previous administration had a Chief Exec, you chose to over rule that and remove the post. We all know that if you wanted to, you as the strong Leader of the Council that you avouch to be could resolve this problem as you have done in the past. So why not now Susie? Is North Harrow not worthy of one of your vote winning attempts to influence local residents.

Susie could you tell us how much has been spent in trying to regenerate North Harrow. I presume that you will revert to your art of answering without answering so to jog you memory here is a quote form the Harrow Times in 2011

" In North Harrow, the council will spend £360,400 to work with traders and the community on marketing and promotional events, including a business directory and North Harrow web site.

The council will also assess other issues such as parking in north Harrow.

Traders and councillors held an emergency meeting last month to form a group to help rejuvenate the high street in North Harrow, described by shoppers as "dreary, run-down and very dead".

Conservative group leader Councillor Susan Hall, said: "It's excellent news that Harrow's bid for this funding has been successful, and it'll do a great deal to revitalise the town centre and North Harrow.

“I'm sure that local traders in particular will be pleased at the extra investment and promotional activities this funding will provide.
Susie you really must stop stop blaming Labour / ILG for things that they have done but you as Leader of the currently non-elected administration have the power to change. The previous administration had a Chief Exec, you chose to over rule that and remove the post. We all know that if you wanted to, you as the strong Leader of the Council that you avouch to be could resolve this problem as you have done in the past. So why not now Susie? Is North Harrow not worthy of one of your vote winning attempts to influence local residents. Susie could you tell us how much has been spent in trying to regenerate North Harrow. I presume that you will revert to your art of answering without answering so to jog you memory here is a quote form the Harrow Times in 2011 " In North Harrow, the council will spend £360,400 to work with traders and the community on marketing and promotional events, including a business directory and North Harrow web site. The council will also assess other issues such as parking in north Harrow. Traders and councillors held an emergency meeting last month to form a group to help rejuvenate the high street in North Harrow, described by shoppers as "dreary, run-down and very dead". Conservative group leader Councillor Susan Hall, said: "It's excellent news that Harrow's bid for this funding has been successful, and it'll do a great deal to revitalise the town centre and North Harrow. “I'm sure that local traders in particular will be pleased at the extra investment and promotional activities this funding will provide. Harrow Dude

8:21pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Cllr Susan Hall says...

We are hoping that Cabinet will pass the introduction of 20 mins free parking in all the borough's on street shopping areas tomorrow evening. Its true a lot of money has been spent in North Harrow to help the Traders and vacancy rates have been reduced. North Harrow has also benefited from 1 hour free parking for many, many years. I am sure most of the other areas in Harrow would have loved all this help, they would have loved 1 hour free for many years but the other shopping centers have not been that lucky. Instead of thinking its not fair now perhaps traders should realise that a lot of work has gone in to help them build the district which has definitely had a positive effect. North Harrow is a very pleasant district and I hope, especially with the free 20mins parking free it will continue to grow.
We are hoping that Cabinet will pass the introduction of 20 mins free parking in all the borough's on street shopping areas tomorrow evening. Its true a lot of money has been spent in North Harrow to help the Traders and vacancy rates have been reduced. North Harrow has also benefited from 1 hour free parking for many, many years. I am sure most of the other areas in Harrow would have loved all this help, they would have loved 1 hour free for many years but the other shopping centers have not been that lucky. Instead of thinking its not fair now perhaps traders should realise that a lot of work has gone in to help them build the district which has definitely had a positive effect. North Harrow is a very pleasant district and I hope, especially with the free 20mins parking free it will continue to grow. Cllr Susan Hall

10:14pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Harrow Dude says...

Susie of course other shopping districts would love the benefit of 1hr free parking so why not give it to them . Surely you want to increase footfall in all of Harrow's shopping districts.

How would you feel if there was a huge increase in parking fees in Wealdstone? I guess it would not effect Headstone drive
Susie of course other shopping districts would love the benefit of 1hr free parking so why not give it to them . Surely you want to increase footfall in all of Harrow's shopping districts. How would you feel if there was a huge increase in parking fees in Wealdstone? I guess it would not effect Headstone drive Harrow Dude

7:03am Sun 16 Feb 14

rabbitz says...

I agree with Susan Hall North Harrow has been subsidised for years with free parking 80p is a small price to pay for convenience and if anyone can tell me where i can buy a loaf of bread for 80p i will be happy, The simple fact is car parks cost money to keep open in maintenance etc Think of it this way if there was no car parking and your local council bought up some vacant land and charged a modest car park fee everyone would say it was beneficial to the area i doubt very much if people are going to go elsewhere for the sake of 80p
I agree with Susan Hall North Harrow has been subsidised for years with free parking 80p is a small price to pay for convenience and if anyone can tell me where i can buy a loaf of bread for 80p i will be happy, The simple fact is car parks cost money to keep open in maintenance etc Think of it this way if there was no car parking and your local council bought up some vacant land and charged a modest car park fee everyone would say it was beneficial to the area i doubt very much if people are going to go elsewhere for the sake of 80p rabbitz

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