Parking permits could damage business, warn shop owners

Richard Harrington meeting concerned shop owners

Richard Harrington meeting concerned shop owners

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Web content editor

Shop owners and residents have that warned plans to bring controlled parking to the Callowland area of Watford will force businesses to close.

A parking survey found there was a high demand for spaces near St Albans Road, with some streets often full with cars.

Watford Borough Council is currently consulting on whether a parking permit scheme brought in during the day could help tackle the problem.

Residents, businesses and politicians have spoken out against the plans, suggesting they would drive away local business and do nothing to alleviate the parking crush, which only starts as people return home from work.

Anita Skinner, who runs Eden Hair and Beauty, said some of her clients, who may be going through chemotherapy, could be in the salon for up to six hours.

She added: "The only businesses which can get a parking permit are ones with a vehicle instrumental to the business, like a delivery service.

"All we can do is park for two hours and then move the car. If my staff and I can’t park we can’t have a business.

"We’re going to have to get everyone to park in the nearest non-permit area, buy a minibus and pick them up."

Watford Borough Council has sent out a consultation, which will end on January 31, to help it decide what action to take.

Ms Skinner said: "We have to make sure that every shop and office sends back their consultation form before January 31.

"The people who want the scheme have replied and the people who don’t want it are sitting back complacently thinking they can’t make a difference."

Anna Williams, who lives in Leavesden Road, said the problem with parking was mostly during the evening when people returned from work.

She said the proposed scheme would operate between 8am and 6.30pm, which would "help no-one and penalise everyone".

She added: "I am appalled by Watford Borough Council's proposed parking scheme in the St Albans Road area and everyone I have spoken to is also fiercely against it.

"It offers no benefits whatsoever to local residents and shops - all it will do will be to financially penalise everyone concerned as well as killing off trade in the already struggling St Albans Road. 

"A parking permit does not guarantee you a parking space outside your house."

The streets surveyed included St Albans Road, Diamond Road, Shakespeare Street, Bruce Grove, Victoria Road and Sandringham Road.

Streets close to St Albans Road and the town centre, including Bruce Grove and Victoria Road, were found to be full most of the time.

This was put down to a lack of parking management in an area of high demand, combined with the area being close to the town centre and railway station,

Richard Harrington, MP for Watford, has written to Watford Borough Council chief executive Manny Lewis about the plans after receiving a petition of 260 signatures against the scheme.

He said: "I met with more than 40 businesses and local residents who communicated their deep concern about the proposals.

"The majority of residents whom I have discussed this with feel that they would be paying to park outside their homes without this actually doing anything to improve parking provision."

Mr Harrington said restricting parking spaces in the day time, when there are available spaces, would have "a seriously detrimental effect" on local business.

He added: "A number of local businesses have argued that the proposals would undoubtedly mean a loss of jobs, custom, and in all likelihood lead to permanent closure.

"Their customers are gone, and the shop closed, before parking becomes a problem in the evenings for residents."

Leggatts Ward councillor Asif Khan, who lives in Brixton Road, said: "I've studied the scheme in depth and have concluded that it will not solve the parking problems for the whole of the area.

"I’ve lived in the local area for over 30 years now and simply put there are more cars per household than before with the same number of parking spaces.

"It will have a negative impact on local businesses. Customers who park during the day in local roads will not be able so to visit local shops.

"The parking bays on St Albans Road are under-used and need to be available more freely for customers to use, perhaps 20 minutes free parking."

Councillor Iain Sharpe, cabinet member for regeneration and development, said residents had asked councillors for a solution for high levels of on-street parking in St Albans Road.

He also said the council does not make any money from residents’ parking schemes, as they cost money to implement and manage.

He added: "Although in the past some parts of Watford have joined a controlled parking zone following consultation, equally in other areas they have chosen not to do so.

"In all cases we have respected their wishes. We would not want either to impose a scheme that residents don’t support, nor for that matter to refuse one that they do."

A meeting about the scheme will be held at 7pm on Monday January 27, in Christ Church and St Marks Church Hall in St Albans Road.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:47pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

The losers in this scheme will be the captive residents who will be trapped in a scheme with no get out clause and will be faced with yearly rises. During the day, there are spaces but at night when there is absolutely no guarantee of a space despite having a residential permit.

If this scheme comes in there is no doubt that as with the Central and West Watford wards, it will be very profit making as residents will be forced to buy. This will provide the fuel to unroll more schemes and not all will be as profitable as this one.

The problem could arise if the council tries the domino strategy of putting in a partial scheme in some streets thereby creating huge displacement ripples onto other streets.

The council recently examined inflation busting 13.5% increase but there will undoubtedly be yearly rises.
The losers in this scheme will be the captive residents who will be trapped in a scheme with no get out clause and will be faced with yearly rises. During the day, there are spaces but at night when there is absolutely no guarantee of a space despite having a residential permit. If this scheme comes in there is no doubt that as with the Central and West Watford wards, it will be very profit making as residents will be forced to buy. This will provide the fuel to unroll more schemes and not all will be as profitable as this one. The problem could arise if the council tries the domino strategy of putting in a partial scheme in some streets thereby creating huge displacement ripples onto other streets. The council recently examined inflation busting 13.5% increase but there will undoubtedly be yearly rises. Cuetip
  • Score: -2

4:04pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Anti-business tax raiser?

That's got LibDem written all over it. They'll never understand business, only how to tax it.

It's surely time for something better.
Anti-business tax raiser? That's got LibDem written all over it. They'll never understand business, only how to tax it. It's surely time for something better. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -2

5:19pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Bones n Hombre says...

The council won't be happy until none of us use our cars ever, leaving the roads nice and clear for them and their cronies.

No idea whatsoever !!!!
The council won't be happy until none of us use our cars ever, leaving the roads nice and clear for them and their cronies. No idea whatsoever !!!! Bones n Hombre
  • Score: -1

8:23pm Thu 23 Jan 14

sowhatsgoingonhere says...

A one way system round there would be useful with angled parking spaces.
A one way system round there would be useful with angled parking spaces. sowhatsgoingonhere
  • Score: -6

9:00pm Thu 23 Jan 14

samwatford says...

Parking should be for residents who presently scramble for a place and not outsiders. Due to proximity to Watford Junction where London Midland charges hefty parking fees , all the parking is presently taken by commuters during weekdays and others going on holiday/partying during the weekend/night. Further heavy trucks, vans and commercial vehicles park illegally in narrow streets and block the roads and make them unsafe for children & seniors. I believe it is a good idea which will help every resident and should be in operation 24/7 365 days a year instead of just being limited to office hours. Further the problem of littering on the streets will be greatly reduced as these outsiders dump their fast food wrappers, drink bottles,cigarete butts and other rubbish from their cars/vans/trucks when they come to pick up their vehicles.
Parking should be for residents who presently scramble for a place and not outsiders. Due to proximity to Watford Junction where London Midland charges hefty parking fees , all the parking is presently taken by commuters during weekdays and others going on holiday/partying during the weekend/night. Further heavy trucks, vans and commercial vehicles park illegally in narrow streets and block the roads and make them unsafe for children & seniors. I believe it is a good idea which will help every resident and should be in operation 24/7 365 days a year instead of just being limited to office hours. Further the problem of littering on the streets will be greatly reduced as these outsiders dump their fast food wrappers, drink bottles,cigarete butts and other rubbish from their cars/vans/trucks when they come to pick up their vehicles. samwatford
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Maclanx says...

samwatford wrote:
Parking should be for residents who presently scramble for a place and not outsiders. Due to proximity to Watford Junction where London Midland charges hefty parking fees , all the parking is presently taken by commuters during weekdays and others going on holiday/partying during the weekend/night. Further heavy trucks, vans and commercial vehicles park illegally in narrow streets and block the roads and make them unsafe for children & seniors. I believe it is a good idea which will help every resident and should be in operation 24/7 365 days a year instead of just being limited to office hours. Further the problem of littering on the streets will be greatly reduced as these outsiders dump their fast food wrappers, drink bottles,cigarete butts and other rubbish from their cars/vans/trucks when they come to pick up their vehicles.
It's not true that 'all the parking is presently taken by commuters during weekdays' . I live in Copsewood Road, prob the highest for commuters and the only time I sometimes struggle to park is later in the evenings when everyone is at home - the cars belong to the locals!
Permit parking will not change this. The only thing that will change is that we will have to pay for nothing and pay to have friends/family/worke
rs who drive visit us.
[quote][p][bold]samwatford[/bold] wrote: Parking should be for residents who presently scramble for a place and not outsiders. Due to proximity to Watford Junction where London Midland charges hefty parking fees , all the parking is presently taken by commuters during weekdays and others going on holiday/partying during the weekend/night. Further heavy trucks, vans and commercial vehicles park illegally in narrow streets and block the roads and make them unsafe for children & seniors. I believe it is a good idea which will help every resident and should be in operation 24/7 365 days a year instead of just being limited to office hours. Further the problem of littering on the streets will be greatly reduced as these outsiders dump their fast food wrappers, drink bottles,cigarete butts and other rubbish from their cars/vans/trucks when they come to pick up their vehicles.[/p][/quote]It's not true that 'all the parking is presently taken by commuters during weekdays' . I live in Copsewood Road, prob the highest for commuters and the only time I sometimes struggle to park is later in the evenings when everyone is at home - the cars belong to the locals! Permit parking will not change this. The only thing that will change is that we will have to pay for nothing and pay to have friends/family/worke rs who drive visit us. Maclanx
  • Score: 2

11:08pm Thu 23 Jan 14

dnh says...

St Albans road already has a high shop vacancy rate and the scheme risks worsening this.

I would urge any residents planning to support the scheme to add caveats to their response.

1) 30 minutes Free parking in parking bays to minimise impact on local businesses
2) Permit price increases capped to the rate of inflation
3) No reduction in space available for parking

Having said that I will not be supporting the scheme as it does nothing to address the evening parking problem.

Much as I dislike cheapskate commuters getting a Free ride by parking here, they do tend to leave their spaces later giving those like me who have to work longer hours a chance of finding a space.
St Albans road already has a high shop vacancy rate and the scheme risks worsening this. I would urge any residents planning to support the scheme to add caveats to their response. 1) 30 minutes Free parking in parking bays to minimise impact on local businesses 2) Permit price increases capped to the rate of inflation 3) No reduction in space available for parking Having said that I will not be supporting the scheme as it does nothing to address the evening parking problem. Much as I dislike cheapskate commuters getting a Free ride by parking here, they do tend to leave their spaces later giving those like me who have to work longer hours a chance of finding a space. dnh
  • Score: 3

1:22am Fri 24 Jan 14

samwatford says...

@ Maclanx

Off Street Parking on Copsewood Road is has been full since, the garages on Railway Terrace behind it were demolished to make way for new town houses. Even the lane behind Copsewood road and Bedford street is now gated and closed due to the litter thrown there by unknown people and resulting in loss of one parking space. If there was no parking problem as you state , the residents in the Residents Association would not have asked for parking regulation in the first place. Anyway the survey conducted by the council will soon find out what everyone wants. The parking charge for one car is minimal. It is only those who abuse off street parking by having multiple cars due to undeclared multiple tenancy houses or run businesses with many commercial vehicles to the detriment of their neighbours will have to pay more or find alternative parking.
@ Maclanx Off Street Parking on Copsewood Road is has been full since, the garages on Railway Terrace behind it were demolished to make way for new town houses. Even the lane behind Copsewood road and Bedford street is now gated and closed due to the litter thrown there by unknown people and resulting in loss of one parking space. If there was no parking problem as you state , the residents in the Residents Association would not have asked for parking regulation in the first place. Anyway the survey conducted by the council will soon find out what everyone wants. The parking charge for one car is minimal. It is only those who abuse off street parking by having multiple cars due to undeclared multiple tenancy houses or run businesses with many commercial vehicles to the detriment of their neighbours will have to pay more or find alternative parking. samwatford
  • Score: 1

11:31am Fri 24 Jan 14

analyst99 says...

The problem is exacerbated by the recent proliferation of flatbed and transit type vehicles in residential streets. Under law these sorts of vehicles are required to show running lights at night and if this was enforced in residential streets it may result in their migration to more industrial areas where they belong, freeing up space.
The council also needs to reverse its policy of allowing multiple dwelling developments with limited parking provision
The problem is exacerbated by the recent proliferation of flatbed and transit type vehicles in residential streets. Under law these sorts of vehicles are required to show running lights at night and if this was enforced in residential streets it may result in their migration to more industrial areas where they belong, freeing up space. The council also needs to reverse its policy of allowing multiple dwelling developments with limited parking provision analyst99
  • Score: 4

11:37am Fri 24 Jan 14

r_anon says...

I live on Wellington road. There ar 2 new blocks of flats just built one at the top of St Johns road and one at the bottom of Wellington road. These blocks apparently have not been issued with parking permits. But what happens is that they park their cars after 6pm when they return from work, and leave before 8 am to go to work. So they take up all the spaces of the residints with parking permits. The permits should be from 10am to 10pm or at least 8am to 8pm to enable the residents with permits to park.
I live on Wellington road. There ar 2 new blocks of flats just built one at the top of St Johns road and one at the bottom of Wellington road. These blocks apparently have not been issued with parking permits. But what happens is that they park their cars after 6pm when they return from work, and leave before 8 am to go to work. So they take up all the spaces of the residints with parking permits. The permits should be from 10am to 10pm or at least 8am to 8pm to enable the residents with permits to park. r_anon
  • Score: 2

6:44pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

analyst99 wrote:
The problem is exacerbated by the recent proliferation of flatbed and transit type vehicles in residential streets. Under law these sorts of vehicles are required to show running lights at night and if this was enforced in residential streets it may result in their migration to more industrial areas where they belong, freeing up space.
The council also needs to reverse its policy of allowing multiple dwelling developments with limited parking provision
Absolutely spot on.

These streets are plagued by very large high sided commercial vehicles which block the light to front rooms and are an eye sore.
[quote][p][bold]analyst99[/bold] wrote: The problem is exacerbated by the recent proliferation of flatbed and transit type vehicles in residential streets. Under law these sorts of vehicles are required to show running lights at night and if this was enforced in residential streets it may result in their migration to more industrial areas where they belong, freeing up space. The council also needs to reverse its policy of allowing multiple dwelling developments with limited parking provision[/p][/quote]Absolutely spot on. These streets are plagued by very large high sided commercial vehicles which block the light to front rooms and are an eye sore. Cuetip
  • Score: 3

4:45pm Tue 28 Jan 14

hmmmmm says...

Living in parkgate road, I was surprised to see it was included in the proposed CPZ area. Parking in this road and the surrounding areas is only an issue after about 9pm and the proposed hours of operation for the permits would be 0800-1800. Clearly the planners haven't thought this through at all. I can't comment for the roads closer to Watford junction where people park for either transport or shopping, but as was disclosed at the meeting last night these plans will reduce the available parking spaces across the whole zone by 126 spaces, whilst also getting some lovely money for the council from the permits.
I don't think there is any quick fix to this problem. Most of the houses in the area are small terraced houses and there are simply too many cars to fit in the spaces. The solution is definitely NOT a cpz like the council have suggested and will not make any spaces available
Living in parkgate road, I was surprised to see it was included in the proposed CPZ area. Parking in this road and the surrounding areas is only an issue after about 9pm and the proposed hours of operation for the permits would be 0800-1800. Clearly the planners haven't thought this through at all. I can't comment for the roads closer to Watford junction where people park for either transport or shopping, but as was disclosed at the meeting last night these plans will reduce the available parking spaces across the whole zone by 126 spaces, whilst also getting some lovely money for the council from the permits. I don't think there is any quick fix to this problem. Most of the houses in the area are small terraced houses and there are simply too many cars to fit in the spaces. The solution is definitely NOT a cpz like the council have suggested and will not make any spaces available hmmmmm
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree