Vil­lagers sign up against park­ing fees

In­tro­duc­ing charges will have a neg­a­tive im­pact on area, ac­cord­ing to cam­paign­ers

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

HUN­DREDS of Harefield vil­lagers have signed a pe­ti­tion to try to pre­vent the coun­cil from in­tro­duc­ing park­ing charges.

More than 250 peo­ple dis­agree with Hilling­don Coun­cil’s plans to charge at Harefield House car park, which serves High Street shop­pers.

David Bad­de­ley, an op­tometrist at Harefield Op­ti­cians, be­gan the ‘Help save free park­ing in Harefield’ pe­ti­tion, as he feels it will di­rectly af­fect his clients.

He said: “If some­one comes in for an eye test and we find is­sues, re­quir­ing them to stay longer, they’re go­ing to have to go back out to the me­ter and it’s go­ing to get quite awk­ward.

“Clearly other res­i­dents haven’t been con­sulted prop­erly ei­ther. That’s the real is­sue – that even peo­ple di­rectly af­fected never got a let­ter through the post when it im­pacts on them neg­a­tively.

“Lo­cal res­i­dents really feel it wasn’t ad­e­quate just to post no­tices on lamp­posts and the coun­cil needs to go back to the draw­ing board and back to con­sul­ta­tion.”

Mr Bad­de­ley’s pe­ti­tion states the car park that serves the High Street in Harefield has al­ways been free as well as ‘a great as­set to the vil­lage’.

It warns that driv­ers will avoid the car park and hog the High Street in­stead if charg­ing is in­tro­duced.

Hilling­don Coun­cil be­came re­spon­si­ble for Harefield House car park af­ter it was granted a long lease to re­tain the car park for shop­pers in Harefield.

It car­ried out a con­sul­ta­tion be­tween Septem­ber 16 and Oc­to­ber 7 and the re­sults are be­ing stud­ied by the coun­cil’s cab­i­net.

A Hilling­don spokesper­son said: “There has been a con­sul­ta­tion on in­tro­duc­ing park­ing charges in Harefield House car ob­jec­tions con­sid­ered.

“The on­line pe­ti­tion has not been sub­mit­ted yet for for­mal con­sid­er­a­tion. How­ever, we will take into ac­count all con­cerns be­fore making a fi­nal de­ci­sion.” park will and

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Mr Bad­de­ley, whose pe­ti­tion net­ted 255 sig­na­tures in a week, said: “One of the rea­sons peo­ple come from quite some dis­tances is be­cause of the ease of park­ing here.

“We are not a ro­bust enough com­mer­cial cen­tre to have park­ing levied. Even Rick­mansworth, a much big­ger place, has two hours free with no need to put a ticket on the win­dow.”

Hilling­don is propos­ing a max­i­mum stay of four hours and fines if a ticket is not dis­played.

n PE­TI­TION: David Bad­de­ley, an op­tometrist at Harefield Op­ti­cians, wants to save free park­ing in Harefield

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