Petition against council dropping the free 30min in many places has almost reaches 5,000

Back in 2015 Havering Council proposed raising the car parking fees from 20p for 2 hours to £1 for an hour or £1.50 for 2. At the time the Internet went crazy at this raise of 200%:

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After a petition on change.org reached 1,900 signatures Havering Council did raise the charges but also extended the preposed free charge, which was initially 20min, to 30 minute. At the time Cheryl Coppell, Chief Executive of Havering Council, commented about this:

“The aim of having a period of free parking outside Romford was to encourage people to visit our high streets and support local businesses. We’ve recognised that this message may have been lost in the implementation of the new policy. So with the agreement of the Council Leader, we’ve tidied up the charges, so motorists can park longer for less and have half an hour’s parking for free.

“Following on from feedback we will also be improving the signage, so that motorists know how to get a ticket to cover the free parking period. In order to make the changes we will be suspending parking charges outside Romford over the weekend.”

But Havering have once again proposed changes, this time completely removing the 30mins free period:

To support the funding of these improvements, a new flat fee of £1.50 for all day Sunday parking will be brought in.

In most council carparks, except Romford, Upminster and Hornchurch station area and town centre, the first 30 minutes will be free.

A new overnight charge in all these car parks of £1.50 after 6.30pm will also be brought in.

A local shop owner in Upminster has raised another petition against these changes on change.org and currently this is close to 5,000 signatures

Cllr Clarence Barrett has published articles in both the Romford recorder and the latest bulletin stating that this goes against recent studies showing that car parking heavenly affects where people shop:

These incredibly damaging proposals will be enough to deter any would be shopper and demonstrates an astonishing lack of understanding or empathy in local economies.

We shall work hard over the coming months to unpick this poorly constructed budget and present an alternative which will focus on sustainability, fairness and common sense.

The proposals have been approved by the Conservative cabinet, but will need to be approved by the whole Council in late February to become effective. We will be working hard to get these ridiculous and damaging proposals rejected.

You can find the new petition here: https://www.change.org/p/havering-council-havering-council-to-not-scrap-30-minute-free-parking-and-keep-sunday-free-parking-a623eb45-5f66-46d6-8e75-174b1799bdff

You can find the full report here: http://democracy.havering.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=153&MId=6142&Ver=4