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'Suffering trading community needs council support', says Conservative councillors in East Barnet
A “suffering trading community” in East Barnet needs the support of the local authority through a change to the village’s parking policy, according to councillors.
The ward’s three representatives have launched their own public consultation into ideas for new pricing structures at two car parks where charges are already in place.
The move follows an announcement by Barnet Council earlier this month that it wants to start charging for use of a car park in Church Hill Road – a decision that has sparked fury among traders.
Councillor Robert Rams (Conservative) said he wanted to look at reviewing the existing pricing formats in the East Barnet Road car parks but stopped short of calling for a drop in the charges.
He said: “There have been issues with parking in East Barnet for too long. When the charges were too low they were full of commuters and now they’re empty because the prices are too high – we want to find a happy medium.
“We’re not looking to have the charges reduced but we want different methods. Our community is suffering and we want to support our traders. We think local shops are the future – this is a village and we want to keep that status.”
Alternative parking pricings suggested by Cllr Rams include controlled parking, where charges are in place only in the middle of the day, ten minute free periods and incremental pricing structures so shoppers are not charged extortionate amounts for short stays.
The council’s own consultation into charges at Church Hill Road is due to come to an end on March 22 but Cllr Rams would not be drawn on whether he felt the payments should come into effect.
He said: “There is a huge amount of upset over the plans and the council will make a decision based on the results of the consultation. We will wait and see what the resident’s want.”
To give your views to the East Barnet councillors on the parking strategy in the village, visit eastbarnetcarparks.wordpress.com or email Cllr Rams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The consultation runs until March 31.