Traders and residents clash over parking plan

8:30am Saturday 18th February 2012

By Clare Buchanan

A clash between businesses and householders has been sparked by proposals for controlled parking.

Residents of Dunbar Road and Beresford Road, New Malden, petitioned Kingston Council for a parking scheme after becoming increasingly frustrated by the difficulty in finding a space in their roads.

The council has agreed to apply an experimental traffic management order for nine months, after which it will be reviewed and a decision made on making it permanent.

However, shops in Kingston Road said the scheme could ruin their businesses as they depend on their staff and customers being able to park nearby.

Keith Newman-Bale, owner of Tony Allen Motors, which has a branch in Kingston Road, said the situation could force him to move the family business elsewhere.

He said: “I built the business up and didn’t really want to move it. You go down Kingston Road and there are more and more shops being shut.

“There won’t be the business for me to pay the rent.

“It’s going to be a loss to the area, a loss to the guys that work there. We have invested in our staff. We want to deliver locally.”

Kevin West, managing director of Tam Leisure, Kingston Road, said the scheme would move the problem to other roads and there would still be an issue over parking at night.

He said: “I think it will affect us quite badly. We sell a lot of big items so our customers have to come by car.

“They are Victorian houses with three or four cars per house and they all come home. That’s the problem.”

Residents said an increase in the number of abandoned cars, and nearby Kingston Business Park charging for permits last spring, made parking worse in the two roads, which have 78 properties.

At a Malden and Coombe neighbourhood committee meeting in November, resident Rachel Waite, who has lived in Dunbar Road for nine years, said the parking problem was outrageous.

She said: “We are used as an overspill. It’s outrageous because we, as residents, can’t park in our roads.

“We love where we live but the parking is destroying people’s lives.

“That’s a really strong comment but it is [true].”

The experimental permit holders parking zone is due to be put in place when funding becomes available in April.

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