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Traders angry at "ridiculous" parking charges in Muswell Hill
Traders in Muswell Hill are in uproar following a “ridiculous” rise in parking prices which is “killing” small businesses.
Independent businesses have suffered months of poor trade after local parking prices were increased from £1.40 to £3 per hour.
The council implemented the measures to discourage drivers filling parking spaces if they had no intention of shopping there in a bid to make more spaces available for shoppers.
However, local merchants believe this “extortionate” hike in prices is deterring shoppers instead, greatly damaging their trade.
Chris Ostwald, 50, has been the manager of Crocodile Antiques, on Muswell Hill Broadway, for 20 years.
He said: “These past six months have been terrible – shops along here have been closing down one by one.
“It’s affecting everyone, not just small businesses – but it’s a knock that larger national businesses can just absorb, whereas smaller businesses are struggling.
He added: “It’s not fair that small businesses receive the same tax rates as larger shops. As well as VAT, there’s council tax, rent, and an 11 per cent tax just for employing staff.
“Especially in this economic climate, we, at the smaller end of the retail scale, need to be given a fighting chance.”
Irate entrepreneurs from the Muswell Hill Traders’ Association (MHTA) have been liaising with Haringey Council for the past few months in a bid to remedy the situation.
However, after recently conducting a public survey about the issue, the council has decided to keep the parking prices as they are.
Chairman of the MHTA, Marcelo Monaco, said: “This is making it very hard for us to compete with bigger shops and internet traders.
"When shoppers can park for free ten minutes away in Brent Cross, custom for us is becoming very difficult.”
The Haringey Independent is currently awaiting a response from Haringey Council.