Saturday, 21 July 2018

Traders happy after parking time limit cut

WAITING restrictions have been introduced at parking spaces outside a Henley parade of shops.

WAITING restrictions have been introduced at parking spaces outside a Henley parade of shops.

Now drivers can only stop for up to 20 minutes in the three bays in Reading Road near the Station Road junction.

The move comes after traders complained that people would leave their cars in the bays all day, so their customers couldn’t park there.

On one occasion, a vehicle remained there for four days.

The shopkeepers have been urging Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, to take action since early 2013, when the Henley Standard first reported on the issue.

Now Councillor David Nimmo Smith, cabinet member for transport and a town councillor, has approved the scheme.

He said: “Hopefully the shops will be happy. This has corrected a long-standing anomaly by applying the same waiting restrictions as those on the spaces in Duke Street.

“It was ridiculous to have double-yellow lines in the rest of that part of Reading Road but no controls whatsoever on those bays.”

Aspen Weatherburn, who owns dog grooming salon Naughty Mutt Nice, said: “It’s fantastic news and will be great for business.

“It will become so much easier for my customers to drop off and collect their dogs.

“I think it works well for the whole parade because we’re all service-based businesses and people only need to quickly drop in and out.”

Molly Grimes, of florist Bluebells of Henley, said: “We’re very pleased because some people were parking outside for two or three days at a time.” James Miller, who owns Henley Cycles, said: “It has taken a while but it’s good because this allows time for people to shop while theoretically preventing them from leaving their cars there.

“Realistically it can’t be enforced every 20 minutes but if someone parks all day it means they can be penalised.”

But Joe Fiumara, who runs Henley Barbers in Station Road, said it would damage his trade.

“The businesses that support the restrictions offer the kind of services where you can quickly drop in and out,” he said. “If customers can’t get in the chair immediately, 20 minutes won’t be enough. They might park in town and get their hair cut somewhere nearer. It’s a silly idea because parking has never been a problem here.”

Meanwhile, three pay-and-display bays in Albert Road, off Greys Road, have also been removed and replaced with residents’ permit parking on both sides. This follows a request from householders who said the old spaces were under-used.

Additionally, the council is rolling out permit parking between 94 and 102 Bell Street and in Northfield End to the north of King’s Road. The latter will also have two 20-minute bays.

A single yellow line will be painted outside Rupert House School in Bell Street and a single bay created for the school to use in emergencies. Cllr Nimmo Smith said the changes would not solve of Henley’s parking issuess.

“Every little helps but the bottom line is that there are more drivers looking to park than there are places,” he said.

“In fact, there are more residents’ permits in circulation than spaces because if you live in a permit zone you’re entitled to one. The number of cars on the roads is increasing so it’s a constant battle.”

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