Residents in four roads that were hoping to be included in the new Barnet Hospital controlled parking zone have been told they may have to wait until early next year before they can be incorporated into the scheme.
An extension of the High Barnet controlled parking zone to impose restrictions on roads around Barnet Hospital has produced a furious response from adjoining streets that fear they will now have to accommodate many more parked cars and vans.
The Barnet Society’s long-running campaign to try to secure a short period of free parking at the 63 parking meter spaces along the High Street featured prominently in Dom on the Spot, BBC television’s latest series about the people whose job it is to hand out on-the-spot fines.
High Barnet’s notoriety as a hot spot for parking fines is to be featured yet again on national television. Footage for a new series of Dom on the Spot was filmed in the High Street highlighting Barnet Council’s refusal to even consider a short period of free parking in order to help local traders.
Residents are being consulted about the possibility of a massive extension to High Barnet’s controlled parking zone to cope with uncontrolled off-street car parking and traffic congestion following recent expansion at Barnet Hospital.
A joint attempt by the Barnet Society and the Barnet Times to persuade Barnet Council to introduce a period of free car parking to boost trade in the borough’s high streets was rejected by the environment committee.
Almost 2,000 people visiting shops and other premises in the High Street have signed the Barnet Society’s petition calling on Barnet Council to consider offering an hour’s free parking to help the town’s retailers.
Petition forms distributed by the Barnet Society to around 100 shops and other retail premises along the High Street are showing far higher support than expected for the Society’s campaign for an hour’s free parking.
Councillor David Longstaff has joined Mrs Theresa Villiers MP and Gordon Massey, chairman of Barnet Residents Association, in opposing the Barnet Society’s petition calling for an hour’s free parking to help win back shoppers to the High Street.
Another two independent traders are being forced out of the High Street by a combination of high rents and the chronic difficulties faced by shoppers confronted by High Barnet’s expensive and inordinately complicated parking regime.
The depth of local anger, frustration and even despair at the damage being inflicted on Barnet’s shopping centre is highlighted yet again in comments in support of the Barnet Society’s petition calling on Barnet Council to allow an hour’s free parking.
Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, who is Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, admits that that even her police protection officers cannot work out where it is possible to park in High Barnet town centre.
The Barnet Society is launching a Save Our High Street appeal: our town centre desperately needs more shoppers and we hope local businesses and other organisations, as well as local residents will join our campaign.