Guess which Local authority stings it's residents hardest for parking fees. Yup, our very own "motorist friendly" Barnet Council. Now as everyone in Barnet knows, parking charges are not used to ensure that parking is well managed. It is a stealth tax used to rob motorists who clearly have no choice. I went to a Leader Listens business breakfast last year. The guest speaker was the absolutely excellent Mr Tom Nathan, managing director of Brent Cross shopping centre. Mr Nathan explained that free parking was a key to the success of Brent Cross. You can shop till you drop at Brent Cross and you don't pay a penny. I'm all for business friendly policies and if it helps Mr Nathan and his tenants, great. The trouble is, that whilst Brent Cross has someone who understands business and the needs of shoppers running it's parking policies, Barnet Council doesn't. You see, if you want to park in Mill Hill Broadway to buy a pint of milk, you have to pay for the honour. As a result, shoppers are robbed and business suffers. Surely any sensible council would let short term car parking operate on the same basis as Brent Cross. Of course we need to discourage commuters from using the spaces, but we need a happy medium. Most people park for less than 1 hour, so let people park for the first hour for free. This would help business and help hard pressed motorists.
Next Saturday, the 30th January, I will be out with some Lib Dem colleagues, collecting signatures for a petition to the Tory Council to reform parking charges, to take into account local business and the motorist. We will be in Mill Hill Broadway between 10am and 11:30am. Please add your signature to the petition. Even if you are a Tory or a Labour voter and you strongly dislike Lib Dems, I'd suggest you sign if you agree with the petition, as a big response is the only way that we'll ever get the council to change it's policy. If you'd like to help us with this campaign to reform parking, please email me by CLICKING HERE.