Villagers sign up against parking fees
Introducing charges will have a negative impact on area, according to campaigners
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
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