Protest planned over parking fees hike

BUSINESS leaders, market traders and residents plan to present a petition at the next full council meeting on December 6 at Newham Town Hall to protest against next month’s rise in parking fees.

From November 1, a one-hour stay at Stratford’s multistorey car park will rise from �1.20 to �2 and those wishing to stay more than 10 hours will have to pay �25 instead of �20.

There will be further increases at Settle Point car park in Plaistow, where a stay of more than four hours will cost �5 instead of �2.

Changes have also more than doubled for motorists parking at St John’s Road (East and West), Madge Gill Way, Queens Market, Shaftesbury Road and Grove Crescent for up to one hour – from 90p to �2.

While parking permits for the first resident per household living in a controlled parking zone (CPZ) will remain free, the second one will now cost �50 instead of �30.

Businesses operating in these areas will pay double for three and six-month permits.

Charges in metered parking bays around the borough will also go up from �1 to �2 for up to one hour and from �2 to �3 for up to up three hours.

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A council spokeswoman said: “Off-street and pay-and-display parking has remained at the same price since January 2007 and this is the first rise in the cost of a parking permit since 2000. Parking will still be cheaper in Newham than in many other boroughs.”

But since the announcement last week, more than 500 people have signed up to voice their anger at the hike at Queens Market alone.

Neil Stockwell, who runs a fruit and vegetable stall, said: “We aren’t just worried about the increases in the car park above the market.

“A lot of our customers with cars like to park further down Green Street and walk past the shops to the market.

“The CPZ and Shaftesbury Road increases will really hit them and drive them away.”

Dr Jaswir Singh, director of the Green Street Community Interest Company, branded the new rates for business permits “ridiculous” .

“My family have a car so that I can get my children to school and myself to work on time”, added Imtiaz Patel of Altmore Avenue, East Ham.

“It’s not a luxury. We shop at the market to save a few pence. Why treat us like cash cows?”