Thursday, 9 February 2012

30 minutes free, or not? Hampden Sq N14 and Mowbray Parade HA8

Hampden SQ, N14

I see that, like everywhere else in Barnet, the traders of Hampden Sq are up in arms about parking. I don't think that their tactic of not paying their business rates is the correct one, but it is understandable. You lose the moral high ground by not paying your bills. A new strategy is required. However what is clear is that the traders are upset because their livelihoods are at risk. See the report in the Barnet Times here. 

Miss Feezance knows this area well as she used to work less than a mile down the road. There isn't much to keep a girl happy shopping here for hours but it is a useful local resource. I must go back and try the diner one day soon. I don't remember there ever being a problem parking there as the turnover of cars is rapid. All that is really needed is a 1 hour waiting restriction to stop the shopkeepers parking outside their shops and preventing their own customers from parking. The council should encourage shopkeepers to use the Osidge Lane car park and make it free if it isn't already free.

I found this link saying that the traders had asked for parking restrictions. If you are a trader from Hampden Sq please use the comment box below. So when meters existed it was easy to get a free ticket and place it in your car and it was more efficient for the council.

Now that there are no meters the situation is harder. The free 30 minutes still exist but does it say that on the sign? No it doesn't. The sign is at the top of the page. So most people think that to get free parking you have to register to PayByPhone and then use a text or a phone call to pay ( which costs a few pence ) and pay a 10p admin fee. Not quite free then, the free parking and it takes most of your free 30 minutes.

A friend asked the council if this was the case and here is the polite answer she received.

Thank you for sharing your query with this department.

Firstly may I apologise for the delay in responding to you. It is not the London Borough of Barnet’s intention to delay responding to an enquiry such as yours. We value your custom and feedback, and hope our relationship with you can continue in a positive light.

Having spoken with the Parking Enforcement Team I can confirm that at present there are only two locations within the borough that allow 30 minutes of free parking. The locations are Hamden Square N14 which you are already aware of and Mowbray Parade HA8.

The enforcement procedure for these locations are if a Civil Enforcement Officer observes a vehicle parked in a Payment to Park place, a period of 30 minutes observation must be given. If no payment is made after the 30 minutes a Penalty Charge Notice can be issued. On arrival at the above locations the driver need not display a Parking Voucher or call the PayByPhone service, you merely park up and return within 30 minutes to remove the vehicle.

I hope this email has been of some assistance to you.

Yours Sincerely

Parking Quality and Customer Service Officer

It is a pity that the council have not put up clearer signs.

If you have received a parking ticket and only stayed 30 minutes or less then you should appeal it. If you have already paid one in error then why not ask for your money back.

Shopkeepers: why not campaign for the removal of the CPZ? The council really cannot be making much money out of it.

Mowbray Parade HA8

I didn't know straight away where this Parade is. I looked on a map and it is on the A41 heading towards the Stonegrove Estate. I looked on Streetmap and it really is similar to Hampden Square in that it is just a few shops which simply need a short time restriction to encourage a rapid turnover of shoppers. The shopkeepers need to get together and talk to their councillors about another solution. We need these small parades as they are helpful for all the people who are at home in the day and they contribute to Big Society and society in general.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance 

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