Wembley traders fear proposed parking meters will drive away customers

Shopkeepers see red over plans to charge motorists

Traders fear they will be driven out of business if Brent Council gives the green light to the installation of parking meters outside of their shops.

The shopkeepers in Preston Road, Wembley, are seeing red at the proposals hat will force drivers to dig into their pockets for the briefest of stops.

Three years ago, the traders successfully fought off similar plans by forcing the council to implement a free hour parking scheme.

Since then they have seen an increase in footfall and takings.

Robin Marklew has been running Four Seasons greengrocers in Preston Road for 35 years.

He said: “We agreed with the council that one hour free parking was the best recipe.

Most Read

“It’s been working a treat and the turnover of car spaces is good.

“If it isn’t broken it doesn’t need fixing.

“I hope this doesn’t destroy our businesses.”

Robert Dunwell has been at the forefront of campaigns to keep meters out of Preston Road, he said: “This will have a detrimental effect on traders.

“There is a big Asda less than five minutes away that has free parking for its customers so if meters are placed here people will go there instead.

“This will immediately hit the shops and they will close one by one.”

In further twist, the former councillor believes the introduction of meters could end up effecting residents.

He said: “Some shoppers will park outside resident’s home to avoid paying so by putting meters. This is the first step of a hidden campaign to make the area Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ).”

A council spokesman said it was considering meters to stop motorists parking illegally for more than an hour.

He added: “It is fairer on everyone for all shopping areas in Brent to have a pay and display, rather than Preston Road being the only one that doesn’t. We also want to encourage motorists to think about using greener transport.

“There is no evidence that the proposals would increase parking in nearby residential roads. The council only introduces CPZs where residents support them.”