'Absolutely disgusting' - thousands could be forced to pay to park outside homes (From Enfield Independent)
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'Absolutely disgusting' - thousands of people in Edmonton could be forced to pay to park outside their homes if Enfield Borough Council parking proposals passed
Up to 20,000 people could be forced to pay to park outside their homes under Enfield Borough Council plans.
If the plans are passed, it will cost certain households in Edmonton up to £120 a year to park outside their home, and businesses would be forced to pay £660 annually for a permit to park each vehicle on affected streets.
The council is holding a consultation until the end of the month about its proposals to install controlled parking zones (CPZs) and residents parking bays between 9am and 6.30pm every day.
Under current plans, hundreds of parking bays would be converted into CPZs with single yellow lines, meaning waiting would not be permitted during the day.
Erin Selebi, who has run Star Plumbing Supplies in Bounces Road for 13 years, is calling for people to take a stand as she believes the changes will hit cash-strapped traders the hardest by preventing customers from parking nearby.
She said: “We all know there are a lot of cars and there is a bit of a parking problem but these people are not being made aware that they could have to pay for the privilege of parking in front of their homes in Edmonton.
"These people can’t afford to live.
“It is going to kill the shops, it is going to kill the area, and it is going to make it so hard for anyone to visit.”
Thirty-six streets are affected by the current proposals, and it would mean people living in areas including Marsden Road, Oxford Road, Gordon Road and Westminster Road, would have to pay to park outside their properties.
Although original plans included imposing a CPZ in Bounces Road, the council decided against it after receiving negative feedback.
However, Ms Selebi continues to accuse the council of keeping the consultation on the down-low, and said many traders and customers are unaware of the authority’s controversial plans.
Councillor Henry Lamprecht, who leads Southgate Green, is backing the traders’ plight to oppose the CPZ and has left petitions in shops throughout Edmonton to encourage people to object.
He blamed the council for keeping the consultation quiet by carrying it out over Christmas, and stressed the importance of peoples’ responses to halt the authority in its tracks.
The Conservative politician said: “Edmonton is already struggling in the current challenging economic times and now the council wants to lumber the people in Edmonton with a CPZ that will hurt local businesses.
“What makes it worse is that not only is Enfield Council hitting the businesses they are also going to hit the local residents by charging them an annual charge to park outside their own houses and they will have to stock permits to give to their friends when they visit.
“All this will happen right outside their front doors and the council will effectively be holding residents and their visitors to ransom.
"I think this is absolutely disgusting treatment of the people of Edmonton.”
However, the authority claims the plans, if passed, would help people by making it easier for people to park outside their homes in a heavily congested area.
Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, Councillor Andrew Stafford, insisted the authority is doing everything it can to make the public aware of the proposals.
Although he believes households will largely be happy with the plans, he admits proposals may be less popular with traders.
The Labour politician said: “The thing we will be monitoring most closely is the effect on traders.
"But what the majority wants, they will get. If they don’t want it, we don’t give it to them.”
He claims the council has been trying to find a solution to the congestion in Edmonton for the last ten years.
He said the area is getting busier as many households have cars without garages, and are therefore forced to park on the roadside.
He also defended any claims the council is using the scheme to make money, and said it would largely break even from the proceeds of the CPZ due to the high costs of installing and policing the parking scheme.
The consultation will run until Monday, January 28. A third and final consulation is expected to be held in the summer.