Changes to parking charges and payment methods in Barnet will be introduced alongside a full-scale policy review, the council has confirmed.
New cabinet member for environment Councillor Dean Cohen confirmed this afternoon that a series of changes will be implemented to the unpopular schemes introduced by his predecessor Brian Coleman.
Among the changes are half-day visitor vouchers for CPZs priced at £2.20, the introduction of credit card machines in eight council car parks and discounts on parking vouchers given to businesses to increase their availability.
A 50p charge for a 15 minute parking stay will also be looked at in a bid to revive trade for local businesses who rely on customers popping into their shops.
Cllr Cohen said: “I appreciate that many people just want to nip into a couple shops and this would make it much easier. I have asked officers to explore the possibility of introducing such a voucher although we have to look at the economics of this.
“I will also launch a review of parking prices in each of our town centres and major shopping parades. We need to strike a balance between ensuring there is a steady turnover of spaces for cars in these areas but also that people have time to shop. I will be consulting with businesses in each of these centres before coming to a final decision.”
The Golders Green representative has also scrapped plans to bring in charges to four of the six remaining free car parks in the borough.
An announcement on the remaining two in Brunswick Park will not be made until after the ward’s by-election due to election rules, though Conservative candidates have already announced the charges have been scrapped in their campaign leaflets.
Further plans to introduce fees to the Dawes Lane car park have also been scrapped, though Cllr Cohen has asked for a review of the operation of the car park to manage commuter parking.
He added: “I have also asked officers to review the pricing in our council run car parks. Following feed back from residents and businesses, I am not convinced that our pricing is set at the correct level for either business or the council.
“But I have to warn people that all of this takes place against a background of the council having to raise an income to repair roads, pavements and potholes.”