Midland Road firms fear new rules will harm ability to trade, reports Victoria Munro, Local Democracy Reporter
Business owners in an industrial Leyton street fear the council’s plan to remove parking due to “constant abuse” threatens their livelihoods.
Midland Road runs alongside the London Overground railway line and is home to more than ten businesses, ranging from car services to joinery, in the railway arches.
The road currently has a single yellow line, which allows parking at some hours and short stops, and businesses have the option to buy £900 parking permits for their vehicles.
In the week beginning 12th July, Waltham Forest Council plans to paint double yellow lines and will no longer sell parking permits to businesses.
Deputy council leader Clyde Loakes said this was due to “constant abuse” of current restrictions and “anti-social, irresponsible and illegal parking” by some businesses on the road.
Simon Capon, owner of Aaron Tyres, insists the change will “absolutely” kill the business he has had on the road for more than 30 years.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It’s going to ruin my business because people can’t stop. It was bad enough with the single yellow lines.
“This is an industrial road, not residential, no residents park here and it’s not like it’s outside someone’s house. It’s just ridiculous.
“All I would want is a ten-minute bay, no-one is ever here for long: they come in, I do their tyres and they go.”
While only a handful of houses face directly on to Midland Road, it runs adjacent to a number of residential streets, whose residents will be allowed to buy permits for the remaining bays.
Adam Albayrakoglu, who runs metal finisher Eral Metal Fabrications, said he currently spends £6,300 a year on parking permits for seven company vehicles, which are all used “daily”.
He said: “They are running our business down, alongside the ten or eleven others on this road, who all pay in excess of £10,000 per unit in business rates.
“The council is driving all the small businesses away. We have just come out of Covid-19, we are struggling as it is.
“I’m sure they have got their reasons but there needs to be some leeway. I have got in excess of 30 guys working here.”
Kiril Mitsarkin, of KTM Motors, agreed that the price of permits meant the council “is the winner already” and called on them to find a proposal that wouldn’t mean “closing businesses”.
While his business requires a van for its recovery service, he also said he needed to be able to park outside because he commutes from Harlow, and there is “no convenient public transport”.
Midland Road runs alongside Leyton Midland Road Station and is a 20-minute walk from Leytonstone Station.
According to the council’s draft Local Plan, published in September last year, it expects to see almost 900 homes built within walking distance by 2035 – 665 in a number of developments along Leyton High Road and 220 on one site on Norlington Road.
Responding to business-owners’ concerns yesterday, Cllr Loakes said the current situation “puts pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers at risk and means emergency vehicles are not able to access or use the road safely”.
He added: “Over recent years, on request by nearby residents, we have had to undertake a number of multi-agency enforcement operations involving council officers, contractors, and the police at this location to enforce the existing rules.
“Unfortunately businesses have continued to flout the rules and residents have asked for more substantial and tougher action to help reduce the anti-social, irresponsible and illegal parking and associated activity on Midland Road and the surrounding streets.
“We have consulted with residents and businesses in the area in early 2020 and modified our original proposals in response to the feedback from the consultation.”
The council modified its original plans by agreeing not to forbid loading and unloading on the double yellow lines, instead allowing it for up to 40 minutes at a time.