MOTORISTS and shopkeepers in Harrow on the Hill warned they could suffer a ‘quadruple whammy’ if unpopular parking rules are brought in on safety grounds.
Car owners and businessmen and women, as well as local conservation group Harrow Hill Trust, have rallied against Harrow Council’s proposals for a series of new double-yellow lines, waiting restrictions and free parking bays, with 120 people signing an objection letter to the portfolio holder Councillor Phillip O’Dell (Labour).
David Taylor, owner of Incanto restaurant and delicatessen in West Street, said: “There is a huge parking problem as it’s exceptionally difficult for anyone wishing to visit the Hill, even just to pop in for a coffee, to find a space and park.
“Taking out what’s available is just going to exacerbate the problem. What is being suggested is almost draconian, and anti-business, and it hasn’t really been thought through.
“The biggest issue, though, is the lack of consultation. No businesses were informed at all.”
Harrow on the Hill ward councillor Simon Williams (Conservative), who handed in an anti-lines petition of 81 signatures, said: “It’s a quadruple whammy for residents. Firstly, if cars park on street corners that’s illegal anyway so there’s no need to extend the lines all the way down the kerb.
“Secondly, there doesn’t seem to be any consistency around where and why the lines could be put down. Thirdly, the consultation was carried out over Christmas, which people are up in arms about and, lastly, not all the houses affected were sent the forms.”
The petition will be considered along with the results of the formal consultation at a future meeting of the council’s traffic and road safety advisory panel.
St Mary’s Church parish secretary Monica Clifford-Varney added that the church is ‘very concerned’ because it relies on parking in Church Hill for the congregation.
Barry Philips, traffic and road safety manager at Harrow Council, said: “We understand the importance of car parking spaces in our retail and business areas but we also have the difficult task of balancing this demand against the need for unobstructed, safe traffic flow.
“We extended the consultation period to four weeks to take into account the Christmas period and continue to log any comments or objections including petitions received.
“All residents and businesses affected by the proposals were also consulted via a letter drop. In addition, notices of the proposals were displayed on-site and in the local press for information.”
l Have Harrow Council gone too far with these parking restrictions? Email chief reporter Ian Proctor at email@example.com.