Traders’ concerns after Brent Council approves 200 per cent hike in visitor parking charges

Traders in Willesden have previously complained about parking charges driving business away (pic cre

Traders in Willesden have previously complained about parking charges driving business away (pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

Brent Council are set to make an extra £795,000 a year after it rubber-stamped plans to hike visitor daily parking charges by 200 per cent.

On Monday a proposal to increase the cost in Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) from £1.50 a day to £4.50 was given the green light.

In addition an annual visitor permit will surge from £110 to £165, a rise of 50 per cent.

The town hall gave the thumbs up to the plans despite admitting in a report that the changes could have a detrimental impact on those who live in CPZs, particularly the elderly and sick, who receive visitors who provide them with care.

The council report also states that levels of deprivation are relatively high in some CPZs located in Harlesden, Willesden Green and Kilburn wards which could have an ‘adverse affect’.

According to the town hall the borough charges one of the lowest rates in the capital for its visitor parking citing neighbouring Camden, which charges £6.49 per day.

Claiming the new charges will stamp put commuter parking, Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “Too many residents and their visitors are still crowded out by commuters.

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“We want to steer commuters into using public transport and parking in car parks, rather than using our residential roads, so residents, visitors and shoppers can get more of a look in.”

However, Tony Antonio, chair of Willesden Residents and Traders, said the new charges will drive trade away.

He said: “It’s looking bleak. People are trying to come to the area to shop but all they get are traffic wardens and cameras breathing down everybody’s neck trying to scare them into not coming.

“How do the council justify raising it by that much? When you work you don’t even get a three per cent pay rise, and they are charging 200 per cent.

“They are getting all this money for parking but the roads aren’t being repaired, the pavements aren’t being repaired.

“They spend money in the wrong places and it makes people upset.”

The new charges will be introduced next April.