Saturday, 22 November 2014 13:17

Two more shops forced out of High Street

Written by
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.

As the closures continue apace, charity shops continue their march along the High Street, and yet another is due to open in the New Year.

Barnet’s annual Christmas Fair on Sunday 7 December will start the next phase of the campaign behind the Barnet Society’s petition for an hour’s free parking.

Already nearly 300 people have given their support on line, and the Society is hoping that many more will sign up in person when visiting our stall in the High Street.

So far only one High Barnet resident has criticised the launch of the petition, on the grounds that the parking controls are “actually functioning well” and that an “unreasonable campaign” in support of an hour’s free parking might prejudice Barnet Council’s willingness to engage on other issues affecting the High Street.

In the only substantive response to the campaign, the Chipping Barnet MP Mrs Theresa Villiers also seeks to defend the council’s charging system and points out that an hour’s free parking is allowed in the Moxon Street car park and up to two hours along Hadley Green.

High Barnet’s three councillors, David Longstaff, Wendy Prentice and Bridget Perry, have all failed so far to respond to the Society’s initiative

“I feel that it is important that we give the current arrangements a chance to work before further changes are considered,” says Mrs Villiers.

But at its most recent meeting (20.11.2014) the Society’s committee decided to step up its campaign and seek the support of the local community at the Christmas Fair.

The unanimous view was that time is running out for traders in the High Street and that Mrs Villiers’ argument that the council should be given more time to prove the effectiveness of its charging regime for its 300 parking places has entirely missed the point.

In its statement, the committee said that the real priority was to find ways to make High Barnet more attractive to shoppers and to win back the custom of local residents who take advantage of free parking in other nearby shopping centres.

Instead of sitting on their hands while the High Street lost shop after shop, Barnet’s councillors should recognise that shoppers were put off by the prospect of having to pay parking charges by phone and credit card instead of cash.

The Society has presented a detailed argument in support of its demand for an hour’s free parking in the 63 parking spaces available between the tube station and Hadley Green and in the council’s two other car parks, in Stapylton Road and Fitzjohn Avenue.

High Barnet’s three councillors, David Longstaff, Wendy Prentice and Bridget Perry, have all failed so far to respond to the Society’s initiative and the only response from Councillor Dean Cohen, the Barnet Council cabinet member responsible for car parking, was a two-line email arguing that 60 minutes’ free parking would simply displace cars from the High Street’s “16 or so spaces which are charged for and are occupied the majority of the time”.

Sign the Barnet Society’s petition for an hour’s free parking



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  • Comment Link Saturday, 22 November 2014 14:13 posted by Linda OShea

    Need to do something also about the charity shops, there are now ten of them, too many for any high street

  • Comment Link Saturday, 22 November 2014 14:15 posted by Jilly

    Many a time I can't park as I don't have the right change. I have given up on at least 10 occasions and gone to Tesco. Ignorant councils are killing the high street.
    Don't we ALL know it.
    Which council was it that lost millions investing in Iceland?

  • Comment Link Saturday, 22 November 2014 14:16 posted by John

    We tend to avoid Barnet for shopping and go to places that we do not have to pay, and we live here! For the High Street to survive the council need to make it easier for people to nip in and out otherwise the business will all go online and then the council will be earning nothing!!

  • Comment Link Saturday, 22 November 2014 17:18 posted by Jacquie Howson

    Barnet used to be such a brilliant place to shop - PLEASE stop this ridiculous parking regime !

  • Comment Link Monday, 24 November 2014 16:59 posted by Richard Reed

    Please give us back the vibrant Barnet that we fell in love with 30+ years ago

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 25 November 2014 18:29 posted by Steven Ramsay

    Such a shame, Barnet was built and founded on open trading to people across the country, which means horses and carts (the car) was a given.
    What chance does a modern day trader have!

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 25 November 2014 18:30 posted by Pina Griffin

    Bring back our community spirit by helping our High Street with free one hr parking

  • Comment Link Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:22 posted by Nysha Stiles

    Many friends shop in Potters Bar where you get half an hour free of 1 hour for 20p!
    Barnet Council's greed is destroying our beautiful town.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:23 posted by Oliver Swords-Shannon

    I agree with this petition and feel the greed of the council will in the end if left unchecked will kill off the high street to feed the fat cats.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:25 posted by Anita Jenkins

    I agree with this petition, the free hour would improve the foot fall to the struggling shops in the High Street

  • Comment Link Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:32 posted by Victoria Jennings

    You have to have free parking for some time in the Town as so many people have children and need to come to Barnet by car. I live not far away in PB and come to Barnet for playgroups where I get free parking whilst attending playgroup. But if there was free parking elsewhere after playgroup I would stay longer and actually do some worthwhile shopping here instead of driving to a large supermarket with a free car park or retail park on the way home instead. It is essential to get people back in to Barnet and buying! By doing this we can make money and make Barnet an attractive place for people to come and spend their cash as well as a Town where people want to go out and socialise in the evenings too. The Spires has just increased their parking charges so I will NOT being going in there anymore.... so please sort this out and get Barnet trading as the Town it should be by having free parking!


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