‘It’s the big issue’: Forest Gate traders call for action over parking
- Credit: Archant
Parking restrictions have been “killing” trade and the town hall needs to step in before it’s too late, say Forest Gate shop owners.
They have urged Newham Council to give small business a boost by relaxing measures.
Lionel Alleyne, who owns Handyman DIY store in Upton Lane, said: “If you’re killing the goose that lays the golden egg, it’s not good.”
He called for on-street parking charges to be suspended during business hours or for a half-hour grace period to be introduced.
“No one wants to come in, spend £10 and get a £60 ticket,” Lionel said.
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DIY shops, classed as essential retailers, have been allowed to remain open during lockdown.
A few doors down at Robinsons Upholsterers, a family business established in 1909, owner Mark Robinson agreed parking was affecting trade.
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“People can’t park. That’s the only thing that restricts us,” he said.
Robinsons was also able to continue trading through the lockdowns because it is classed as a manufacturing business.
Kevin Shaw, the owner of Smallholders Pet, Garden & Aquatic Centre which has been in Woodgrange Road since 1948, explained passing trade has dried up because people need parking permits.
“Parking is the big issue. People who get a ticket aren’t going to come back,” Kevin said.
He was speaking just before the second lockdown. The shop remained open in the first lockdown because pet shops were classed as essential retailers too.
The call for help follows traders in Green Street staging a protest in July over parking.
A council spokesperson said: “In line with the government response to the Covid-19 pandemic, local authorities with high levels of public transport use, like Newham, were required to take urgent measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling to enable social distancing.
“The government told local authorities the measures should be taken within weeks, therefore there was no time for the council to undertake a public consultation.
“The parking bay suspensions are temporary and will continue as long as government advises social distancing measures should remain in place.”
She added some bays have been reinstated where safe to do so.