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Lynne Featherstone's office steps in to help struggling traders in Muswell Hill
Lynne Featherstone’s office is stepping in to try and help traders whose businesses are being “killed” by “ridiculous” parking charges.
The office of the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green is contacting Haringey Council this week to ask it to reconsider rises in parking prices in Muswell Hill.
This news comes after the Haringey Independent reported that traders in the area are in uproar over the price of parking.
Independent businesses claim to have suffered months of poor trade after the parking prices were increased from £1.40 to £3 per hour last year.
The council says it implemented the measures to discourage drivers filling parking spaces if they have 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, in 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.”
Mr Ostwald is “delighted” at the news of Ms Featherstone’s intervention and says that he will set up a petition of local traders to give extra weight to her argument.
He hopes that he can get 1,000 signatures for the petition which will call for parking charges to be reduced.
Irate entrepreneurs from the Muswell Hill Traders’ Association (MHTA) have also been liaising with Haringey Council for the past few months in a bid to remedy the situation.
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.”
However, Haringey Council does not agree that parking charges are causing a problem for traders.
Cllr Nilgun Canver, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Parking charges in Muswell Hill were increased last year along with town centres in Green Lanes and Crouch End, and were reviewed this summer to explore what impact, if any, the rise has had.
"It found that there has been no significant reduction in the volume of people parking on Muswell Hill Broadway and demand for pay and display bays remains high.
"There are plenty of other parking options available in Muswell Hill, including a car park and free on-street parking on roads surrounding the Broadway.”