Traders in Bittacy Hill, Mill Hill, furious as taxi drivers clog up parking spaces

This Is Local London: Sarah Cohen and her daughter, Tanya, who also works in the shop Sarah Cohen and her daughter, Tanya, who also works in the shop

Traders fear minicab drivers who regularly block the free spaces outside their shops will sound the death-knell for their businesses.

Shopkeepers in Bittacy Hill, Hill Mill, are now calling for urgent action as they claim the spaces are often obstructed by Bittacy Cars drivers as they wait to pick up fares.

Although the area has a 90-minute parking restriction, the minicab drivers do not pay the required charge.

Sarah Cohen, who owns Kosher Cuisine, said: “It’s going to spell the end for our shop. It’s a nightmare, and customers aren’t going to park miles away just to pop in for a few moments.

“The drivers also don’t seem to understand this is destroying our business.”

As the white parking bays on the shopping parade have faded, wardens have told the traders they too are left confused by the rules, so are reluctant to issue the minicab drivers with tickets.

They stopped issuing fines when the lines began fading over a year ago - and since then, many shops have seen trade fall by up to 50 per cent a week.

The 58-year-old added: “I am livid about this. It seems unacceptable the council can’t enforce their own regulations over something so stupid. I was shocked when the warden told me that.

“We’ve been on at the council to repaint the lines but we’re getting nowhere.”

Earlier this month, the Times Series ran a piece about faded yellow lines in Western Parade, New Barnet, which had the opposite problem: with wardens were ticketing drivers despite the unclear rules.

But although Barnet Borough Council has since promised to repaint all unclear parking lines in the borough, Bittacy Hill was not on the list.

Erdal Bikim, manager at The Best Pizza and Kebab, said: “We’re losing over £600 a week at the moment but it gets worse all the time. It’s crazy, unfair and ridiculous.”

Roy Stewart, owner of A&D High Class Fruiter, suggests an American-style parking system could be adopted, for cars to park in diagonal bays.

Others suggested a designated taxi ramp further along down the road, or at nearby Mill Hill East tube station.

Ali, who owns Bittacy Cars minicab firm, said he sympathised with the traders.

He added: “I know it’s bad, I agree with the traders. We’ve told our drivers they can’t wait around here, and that if I catch them doing it, they will be moved.

“There’s usually only a couple at time now.”

Shopkeepers have also blamed parking restrictions during match days at Allianz Park Rugby Club for the decline in trade, as motorists are banned from parking in the Mill Hill area.

David Salmon, who owns Bittacy Cyles, said: “We’re nowhere near Saracens so it is incredibly frustrating, because we have no customers on event days.

“It’s outrageous. They need to do something.”

Around five years ago, parking in the area was free until 4pm, but the traders petitioned the council to install a pay and display system.

But Ian Needleman, owner of Property Express, said: “I’ve got nothing against the minicabs, but I do think we should have free parking.

“It would boost trade more. People could stop off without fear of getting a ticket.”

A statement from Barnet Council said: “We have not received complaints about the road markings from traders in Bittacy Hill. We do our best to make parking signs and lines as clear as possible across the borough, and will investigate concerns if this is lacking when brought to our attention.

“We do enforce these parking bays and will issue a PCN if we find motorists have parked without paying.”

Comments (7)

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11:19pm Tue 18 Mar 14

peterjrose says...

This is a private hire problem surely. Not taxi as you suggest.
This is a private hire problem surely. Not taxi as you suggest. peterjrose
  • Score: 2

6:45am Wed 19 Mar 14

Mr. Datchery says...

peterjrose wrote:
This is a private hire problem surely. Not taxi as you suggest.
They are taxis 'strictly speaking so-called black cabs are Hackney Carriages.

Legal definition of a hackney carriage
1. A hackney carriage is a taxi with a meter which is licensed to collect passengers from a taxi rank and is available to be hailed in the street.

Also they are a **** nuisance if you want to go to the above mentioned shops.
[quote][p][bold]peterjrose[/bold] wrote: This is a private hire problem surely. Not taxi as you suggest.[/p][/quote]They are taxis 'strictly speaking so-called black cabs are Hackney Carriages. Legal definition of a hackney carriage 1. A hackney carriage is a taxi with a meter which is licensed to collect passengers from a taxi rank and is available to be hailed in the street. Also they are a **** nuisance if you want to go to the above mentioned shops. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 0

8:24am Wed 19 Mar 14

barnet head says...

Having received a ticket last Tuesday in the bays that were fairly clear for overstaying having not paid by phone for long enough something is working.
Having received a ticket last Tuesday in the bays that were fairly clear for overstaying having not paid by phone for long enough something is working. barnet head
  • Score: -1

9:54pm Thu 20 Mar 14

GBC says...

'They are taxis strictly speaking' ???

Real Taxis don't work for minicab firms in the capitel, pure and simple.

They're Minicabs clogging up Bittacy Hill shops, not licensed London Taxis.

Why can reporters still not differentiate between the Licensed London Taxi trade, and the London PH / Minicab trade?
'They are taxis strictly speaking' ??? Real Taxis don't work for minicab firms in the capitel, pure and simple. They're Minicabs clogging up Bittacy Hill shops, not licensed London Taxis. Why can reporters still not differentiate between the Licensed London Taxi trade, and the London PH / Minicab trade? GBC
  • Score: 0

7:49am Fri 21 Mar 14

Mr. Datchery says...

GBC wrote:
'They are taxis strictly speaking' ???

Real Taxis don't work for minicab firms in the capitel, pure and simple.

They're Minicabs clogging up Bittacy Hill shops, not licensed London Taxis.

Why can reporters still not differentiate between the Licensed London Taxi trade, and the London PH / Minicab trade?
Read my post again.
[quote][p][bold]GBC[/bold] wrote: 'They are taxis strictly speaking' ??? Real Taxis don't work for minicab firms in the capitel, pure and simple. They're Minicabs clogging up Bittacy Hill shops, not licensed London Taxis. Why can reporters still not differentiate between the Licensed London Taxi trade, and the London PH / Minicab trade?[/p][/quote]Read my post again. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Anon445 says...

I urge anyone to call Barnet Parking Enforcement team and they will be sure to clarify that the parade is currently not being enforced. Moreover, they can confirm that traders have tried their best to get the lines repainted with no outcome.
I urge anyone to call Barnet Parking Enforcement team and they will be sure to clarify that the parade is currently not being enforced. Moreover, they can confirm that traders have tried their best to get the lines repainted with no outcome. Anon445
  • Score: 0

10:27am Tue 25 Mar 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

Any argument about whether the vehicles concerned are designated as taxis or minicabs is completely irrelevant. The problem is that these vehicles (whether they are taxis or minicabs) prevent customers from reaching local shops. A similar problem occurs nearly at Salcombe Gardens, where shoppers often find it impossible to get into any of the parking bays that were presumably provided for their use.
Any argument about whether the vehicles concerned are designated as taxis or minicabs is completely irrelevant. The problem is that these vehicles (whether they are taxis or minicabs) prevent customers from reaching local shops. A similar problem occurs nearly at Salcombe Gardens, where shoppers often find it impossible to get into any of the parking bays that were presumably provided for their use. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 0

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