Anger Over Ealing's Stop and Shop Parking Changes
No more 30 minute free parking for those living outside borough
Traders in South Ealing are angry over changes to the stop and shop free parking scheme which they say could threaten their livelihoods.
The bays currently provide parking for a fixed initial period, but under new plans, all residents of the borough will need to pre-register their cars and use their mobile phones if they want to extend their stay beyond the free 30 minutes.
Non-residents of the borough will no longer be able to use the “Stop&Shop” bays free of charge, but will have to register and pay a charge.
The changes will come into effect from April, with a phased introduction to bays across the borough.
Opposition Conservative Councillors brought the news to local traders who have been quick to register their disapproval.
Dee White, proprietor of Bloom Studio florists in South Ealing Rd said: ''What the Council is proposing will make it harder to stop & shop and is a dreadful idea. I hope that the Council change their mind and support local businesses. Many of my customers pop in for flowers, perhaps to remember their loved ones at the nearby cemetery, and this will make them less likely to shop here. A lot of my customers live outside Ealing and yet shop here regularly. They will stop doing so if they have to pay.''
Cllr Gregory Stafford, Conservative Group Leader said: ''Labour’s plans are unnecessarily bureaucratic and a change that is not needed or welcomed by the local shopkeepers. These restrictions will only discourage shoppers and threaten local businesses, who are already under tremendous economic stress.
'We are therefore asking residents to please sign our e-petition before Tuesday, 23rd February.”
Ealing Council say the changes should result in less bay blocking and more spaces for local shoppers.
A council spokesperson said: “We want to support the local economy by making shopping in Ealing as simple and easy as possible through better use of our stop and shop bays. Currently you can stay in some stop and shop bays for three hours, while others are as little as 10 minutes. Some can be extended by phone, while others can’t and in some cases motorists exceed the maximum stay and block bays.
“The new scheme will standardise the free parking period for borough residents to 30 minutes, with the option to extend their stay up to three hours, using RingGo to pay 30p for each 30 minutes. Non-residents will still be able to park in the bays, but will not benefit from the 30minute free stay. However, both residents and non-residents who want to quickly pop into a shop will be able to stop for 10 minutes without registering for the permit or using the RingGo system.”
“Residents with any Ealing CPZ Residential permit will be automatically registered for the scheme and other Ealing residents will be able to easily sign up for free.”
One of the shops on South Ealing Road that could be hit by the parking changes
There will be a small number of exceptions to the scheme - Pitshanger Lane being one such example.
The council plan to write to local businesses in the next few weeks to explain the changes and let residents know how to register for a permit.
20th January 2016