Potters Bar traders react to parking hikes

TRADERS have given a mixed reception to proposed parking hikes in a busy shopping street.

Under new plans being put forward by Hertsmere Borough Council, free parking for shoppers along Darkes Lane will be slashed from its current one hour to just 30 minutes.

At a time when high streets across the country are finding it increasingly difficult to attract more customers into their stores, some shop owners feel the new plans only make it more difficult to stem the flow.

Eddie Lui, manager of Majestic Flowers, said: “It is hard enough getting customers through the door as it is.

“With business rates already high enough, the new parking charges would just be another obstacle for us.

“I would oppose these ideas and I know other shop owners would too.”

Tugay Sevincli, of Jet Dry Cleaners, was less sceptical of the proposals, but insisted parking issues are an ongoing problem for Potters Bar.

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He said: “Parking is the number one topic in Potters Bar at the minute.

“The new proposals are not such a bad idea because it does mean you will get a greater flow of people coming and going, but generally the public are always going to be put off by having to pay to park.

“We used to have Tesco on Darkes Lane but they moved to a bigger site with free parking, and that is generally what the big companies do.

“There is no such thing as free parking in Potters Bar.”

The proposals come as the council targets savings of �2m for the financial year and has earmarked parking charges across the borough as a way to claw back money.

The plans must go to a public consultation, planned for before the summer, before being approved.