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Sep 15 2012

North Harrow Market Backfires on Local Traders

The North Harrow market – an initiative dreamt up to bring more footfall into the retail wastelands of North Harrow – the other week seems to have backfired.

According to local councillor James Bond (@CllrJamesBond on Twitter), there are ‘…concerns that stallholders parked cars on the Pinner Road all day…‘ and presumably prevented the passing traffic from actually stopping. You couldn’t make this stuff up, could you.

The market, of course, is very much a commercial operation – it’s not local traders having a stall and selling free-range eggs, home bottled jams and chutneys, or freshly-churned butter – much as those of us brought up by Enid Blyton’s tales would wish to think.

But it’s a very valid point: parking in and around our district shopping areas is always going to be at a premium: and where it is available (as the South Harrow Traders will tell you), it’s filled all day with commuter parking. Go into Hillingdon, and you get the first 30 minutes free with a resident’s card. Go into South Harrow, and you’ll pay £1/hour. That’s not far off of the price of parking at some of the UK’s airports, and we all know how expensive that can be.

If Harrow Council want to bring people into shopping areas, there needs to be free – or at the least, reasonably-priced, parking available. The punative taxing of shoppers – people who’d probably love to support their local traders – has got to stop.

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