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Oct 20 2012

South Harrow Traders Association – Parking Petitions

The South Harrow Traders’ Association are launching a number of petitions concerning parking in and around the area.

The first is for metered parking along Station Parade, which runs parallel to the lower part of Northlolt Road opposite Asda. They say that the spaces are used primarily by commuters who then use Northolt Park station to get into London, and that this, clearly impacts the ability of people to park outside the shops, with the result that they lose custom.

The second is for metered parking throughout the Northolt Road with the first house free – similar schemes operate in Hillingdon. This petition, they say, will help Traders to survive in this tough economic climate by allowing customers to browse their local shops with ease

We’re all in favour of both of those: despite Labour in Harrow promising cheaper car parking in the local shopping centres in their election manifesto, it hasn’t happened yet, so it’s good to see someone other than us is chasing the council to deliver on their promises.

The final petition is for the ex-works unit, as used by the workmen constructing the new Petts Hills roadway and bridge, to be converted into parking for ‘park users only’. Now this idea, we really do have a problem with. As Andrew Trehern put it, about a year ago:

The use of the Compound as a car park is currently under consideration by the council, but there are a number of significant issues to be considered before a decision can be made. The proposed location for a new car park is on ’Park Land’ and this is designated as ‘Open Space’. This designation protects the open space from development, apart from .. ‘small scale ancillary facilities needed to support or enhance the proper functioning of the open space…’. Any permanent change of use could only be Granted subsequent to Planning Committee’s Determination of a Planning Application.

The statutory Consultation involved, would invite members of the public to comment on, or  make representations and/or objections to, the proposal and the Council would be required  to Consider and determine these. Inevitably there is likely to be opposition as well as  support to the proposal.

Clearly, any new car park within ‘Park Land’ would be established to benefit park users. lt  would be very important for only short term parking to be accommodated, and in particular  that long term commuter and overnight parking was actively discouraged.

Traffic Management issues will also need to be assessed most carefully, to ensure that the  new junction that would be created at the entrance and exit of any new car park, did not  adversely impact traffic flows, or create additional hazards.

Although the Petts Hill Bridge Project, provided resources to reinstate the compound for  park use, the resource available would be insufficient to enable the construction of a new  car park, the cost for which is estimated at £57,000, including, lighting, drainage, pay &  display, etc. Clearly it may be possible to compile a positive business case, to recover  these costs, from parking receipts.

A complete copy of the response is here.

From talking to Andrew, there is a possibility of converting the existing paved area, at the other end of the park, into grassland, and then offsetting that against the creation of a car park in the park. This short-sighted approach would mean that those park users who currently make use of the paved area for basketball, for example, would have nowhere to go.

SHARRA, the local residents’ association is in favour of fixing the car parking problem in South Harrow, but is absolutely against the idea of paving over parkland to do so. Metered parking along Station Parade would be a good start; giving users the first hour free would be even better, but this would still simply displace parking into other side roads, thus requiring controlled parking zones.

We would urge residents to sign the first two petitions, which you’ll probably start seeing in local shops shortly, but  we’d warn you not to be tricked into signing the third. Open spaces are a valuable asset in Harrow, and we shouldn’t be looking to turn them all into car parks.

 

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