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Enfield shop owners are sceptical about a new cashless parking system set to be launched in November
A new cashless parking system due to be launched in November has met scepticism from shop owners.
In two months' time, cashless parking will be extended to all street parking zones in Enfield, allowing motorists to pay to park in the borough by mobile phone, SMS or app.
But despite hopes that the scheme will make it easier for drivers to pay and be more cost effective for Enfield Borough Council, shopkeepers have voiced fears that it will hinder business rather than help.
Vic Smith, of Vic Smith Beds in Southbury Road, Enfield, is sceptical of the new system and fears for the future of town shops.
He said: “It is absolutely crazy to put in this type of system which will prevent shoppers from coming to town centres in Enfield.
"It feels as if councillors are in cahoots with out-of-town shopping centres that are not doing as well as they should be. I think that if I had known this would happen I might have thought twice about bringing the business to Enfield.”
Under the new system, all pay and display machines will have stickers to explain to customers how to pay and have a location number for each parking zone. This means customers will enter how long they want to park for and the security number on the back of their credit or debit card to pay.
Mr Smith, who owns another shop in Winchmore Hill Road, Southgate, is dubious it will be taken up by those who are not used to technology.
He said: “I worry for the elderly who are not used to punching numbers into a mobile phone and giving card details away, which will drive them out of the town. Then there’s young mums who drive into town with young children and could be distracted from their children by paying on mobile.”
Garry Kousoulou, who owns Good Looking Optics in Genotine Road, Enfield Town, said: “I am concerned that this will present a problem for for the senior citizens of our borough, and could put them off. Parking is a major issue in the town and I think the system should attract shoppers with a cheaper rate instead of changing the whole system.”
Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, Councillor Chris Bond, said: “Enfield Council is moving with the times and offering a whole range of quick and easy ways for motorists to pay for parking on their mobile phone rather than them having to display a ticket on their dashboard.
“We’re determined to make parking in Enfield as quick and painless as possible and this system will go a long way towards helping us to achieve that, while saving the council around £70,000 a year.”
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