Parking zone extension would close local businesses, Forest Gate shopkeepers warn
19:00 15 July 2014
Extending a Forest Gate residential parking zone would close local businesses, according to a group of shopkeepers who have launched a petition against the plans.
The extension would mean residents living in roads around Woodgrange Road – including Hampton Road, Osbourne Road and Windsor Road – would be required to purchase parking permits and limit parking for customers visiting shops.
Tony Hunter, 46, who owns Uncle Tom’s Motoring Centre in Dames Road, has collected more than 400 signatures since starting a petition last week.
“We have never had any parking issues but this proposal will see double yellow lines around my garage and just one parking space for half an hour – and the council will charge me £500 a year for the privilege,” he said. “I don’t know whether we’ll be able to work and what am I supposed to do, because who is going to want to buy a garage with no parking?”
Kandiah Kugathasan Forest, of Forest Food and Wine, in Woodgrange Road, said he too might have to close his business.
“It is very hard for us anyway because we are not in a busy area and I have a lot of customers coming and parking here,” he said. “If people cannot stop here then I would lose all my customers and my business.”
His concerns are shared by Lesley Haylett, who owns Blondies in Romford Road.
She said nearby parking restrictions imposed just before the Olympics have already had a negative impact, something that further restrictions would compound.
“All the businesses in Romford Road are suffering as it is,” she said. “They are pushing all the businesses out because things are touch and go now, things are hard, and this will make it 100 times worse.”
A Newham Council spokesperson said: “Residents have told us that parking in Forest Gate is a problem and we are consulting on a scheme to address their concerns. The council is seeking to balance the requirements of residents and businesses and ensure that the proposals for parking controls in that area are tailored to meet both their needs.
“Our consultation process is carried out in stages to ensure residents are able to comment at every opportunity and express their views on parking issues in their neighbourhood. Only once we have carried out consultations in a local area and received a 20% response rate with 55% in favour of a RPZ, would we seek to introduce a parking scheme which is tailored to local people’s needs. Residents and businesses in the area would then still be able to change how the Residential Parking Zone operates.”
A consultation on the parking zone proposals run until Friday (July 18). For more information, visit newham.gov.uk