Council Abandon Stop and Shop Parking Plans
Shoppers from 'the wrong part of Chiswick' no longer face having to pay
Ealing Council's plan to introduce charges for Stop and Shop parking in the borough have been abandoned after negative feedback from local traders and residents. The proposals would have seen shoppers from 'the wrong part of Chiswick' being made to pay for parking that was available free to others. The charges could have affected shops on Southfield Road, Acton Lane and the Avenue.
Chiswick residents may have had to pay for Stop and Shop parking
Under the original plans, which were due to come into effect in April, all residents of the borough would have needed to pre-register their cars and use their mobile phones if they wanted to extend their stay beyond the initial free 30 minutes. Non-residents of the borough would no longer have been able to use the “Stop & Shop” bays for free, but would have had to register and pay a charge. The Council said that a standardised system would be simpler and fairer but it was unpopular with many shop owners particularly those with premises near the boroughs borders.
Opposition Councillors alerted local traders who quickly registered their disapproval. Dee White, proprietor of Bloom Studio florists in South Ealing Road said at the time, ''What the Council is proposing will make it harder to stop & shop and is a dreadful idea. I hope that the Council change their mind and support local businesses. Many of my customers pop in for flowers, perhaps to remember their loved ones at the nearby cemetery, and this will make them less likely to shop here. A lot of my customers live outside Ealing and yet shop here regularly. They will stop doing so if they have to pay.''
An e-petition was started which quickly gathered 466 signatures
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said,“We were in the process of developing plans that would change stop and shop parking in the borough, however after listening carefully to feedback from local shops and businesses we have decided to stop working on these proposals.
“Ealing Council is a staunch supporter of our borough's shops and businesses and there are parts of the borough where the current on-street parking arrangements do not work as well as they could for local traders, shoppers or residents. That is why I am launching a review of our parking arrangements in town centres and around shopping parades, engaging with traders and businesses, to look into how they can work better for everyone.”
The review will investigate if specific areas could benefit from more flexible parking arrangements such as 'Stop and Shop Plus' where the initial free 30 minutes parking session can be extended by paying a top up using the RingGo phone payment system. Problems with 'bay-blocking' which results in genuine shoppers being squeezed out will also be looked at with parking enforcement tailored to respond to this.
Findings from the review will start to be implemented towards the end of the year. The Council say that any changes to parking arrangements will be advertised locally before they commence.
February 2, 2016