TWO Hayes councillors have called on the borough to Save Our Shops, by introducing parking restrictions on two shopping parades.
Mary O’Connor and Neil Fyfe say ‘stop and shop’ schemes – which permit half an hour’s free parking for HillingdonFirst card holders – would boost trade for businesses in Kingshill Avenue, and along a stretch in Uxbridge Road, Hayes End, opposite Hayes police station.
Currently, both stretches now have free parking which are used primarily by people living above the shops and the traders.
The councillors, both Charville ward Conservatives, claim this results in long-term stays and no spaces for potential customers, with drivers often resorting to inconsiderate parking.
Separate petitions proposing the changes in both roads have been signed by nearly 900 people, with 801 in support of new restrictions on Uxbridge Road.
Mrs O’Connor said the lack of parking in both parades is putting businesses under strain.
“It is proven that stop and shop parking help make shopping areas more vibrant,” she said.
“They are in place everywhere else, and they have been very successful, and there’s no reason why they won’t work in Kingshill and in Uxbridge Road.
“People won’t drive to pick up a loaf of bread or some milk because there is never anywhere to park.
“Do we want to lose our local shopping parades, and have half of the shops boarded up?”
Mr Fyfe added: “People will park for days on end, and take up a space that could be used by six people every day who would be spending their money in the small shops.”
The borough first consulted on changing the parking arrangement on the Hayes End parade in July 2009, but opinion was split and no action was taken.
There was the same outcome when the proposals were reconsidered a year later, but Mrs O’Connor says past consultations were too narrowly focused, and this latest bid had the backing of people in surrounding roads.
A similar canvassing exercise in Kingshill Avenue last took place in 2008, but only a third of people responded and most voted for things to remain as they were.
Malcolm Coleman, who has lived in Balmoral Drive, Hayes, for nearly 30 years, uses the Kingshill Avenue shops and says the parking problem is worse than ever.
“It is frustrating because people driving backwards and forwards, looking for a space,” he said. “They end up parking wherever, and it can be dangerous. At weekends it is particularly bad.”
Not everyone agrees, however. Raj Dhillon, who runs Kings Electronics in Kingshill Avenue is ‘happy with the way things were’.
The two councillors will be making their case to Councillor Keith Burrows, cabinet member for planning, transportation and recycling, at a petition meeting in the civic centre, Uxbridge, tomorrow evening (Wednesday).
The proposals could be added to the borough’s parking programme for a possible consultation on a detailed design.