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Paid parking bays could be installed along a recently repaved Blackfen shopping parade

PUBLISHED: 14:43 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 03 October 2017

Work is complete to improve access to Gloucester Parade in Blackfen

Work is complete to improve access to Gloucester Parade in Blackfen

Archant

Improvement works in Gloucester Parade started in June

Paid parking bays could ‘crucify’ shops along a recently repaved Blackfen shopping parade, a business owner has warned.

After a summer of works to repave and resurface Gloucester Parade, the council says two-hour maximum stay bays could be installed.

Work began on the parade off Blackfen Road in June, with the service road opened up to improve access and visibility with the hope it would bring more shoppers to the area.

Now the work has finished, the council says it is considering plans to “introduce formalised paid parking bays in this area, that would increase the turnover of spaces, and allow more customers to access the parade and nearby businesses. The proposals, if agreed, will restrict parking to a two hour maximum stay, Monday to Saturday, between 8.00am and 6.30pm”

Mike Clegg, owner of PSM Plant and Tool Hire is concerned for some of his neighbouring stores: “All this money has been spent improving the area, by putting in paid parking for four or five spaces it seems wrong on businesses that are fighting to survive.

“You would think the council would want shops to succeed, but making customers pay would crucify them, if you don’t support secondary high streets like Blackfen’s, people are going to go to places like Bluewater where the parking is free.”

The proposed pay by mobile service still needs approval from Bexley’s cabinet members.

Transport for London have funded the work, which also saw the public area at the junction of Blackfen Road and Days Lane repaved, with new seating installed and trees planted.

A spokesperson from Bexley council said: “The proposals to introduce formalised paid parking bays on Gloucester Parade in Blackfen are aimed at increasing vehicle access to the businesses in that area so that potential trade is maximised.

“Some businesses located on the parade have previously said that the parking spaces are currently often taken up by users who do not move their vehicle all day, this prevents potential customers from parking near.

“Short term paid for parking was formally proposed by public notice. The public notice was open for responses for 21 days and one objection was received, this has been reported to the cabinet member for traffic and transport who will decide whether or not the proposals should be adopted, amended or abandoned.”

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