Why parking is important to businesses along Green Lanes

on Thursday, 19 March 2015. Posted in N21 Community


Robert Taylor, retired highways engineer wishes to share a letter that he has sent to the Enfield Independent, to refute the claims that parking is of minor importance to the businesses along Green Lanes.




A couple of weeks ago the Enfield Independent local newspaper published a letter from Roger Kingsnorth which was about Enfield Council's plans for cycle lanes on Green Lanes. This latter referred to referred to the amount of on-street car parking spaces in the Palmers Green shopping centre and suggested that the cycle lanes scheme would not cause any problems for local shops.


In fact a survey that was conducted for the Green Lanes Business Association and the N21 Live Local Spend Local business group showed that in the whole of this shopping area (including the Fox Lane to Hedge Lane and Aldermans Hill to Broomfield Lane sections) there is room to park about 78 cars. What Mr Kingsnorth also conveniently failed to mention is that the "pay and display" parking system means that most of these spaces are used by several cars during every hour of the working day.


He also did not mention that the Council has published plans showing its preliminary cycle lanes proposals for Green Lanes with the bid document that it used to obtain the £30m of funding for Borough-wide cycling facilities, from the Mayor of London. These plans show that there would be only about 50 car parking spaces in Palmers Green (a 36% reduction) and that the parking spaces in Winchmore Hill Broadway would be reduced by almost two thirds from 22 to eight.


He also referred to the spare parking spaces that exist in the Lodge Drive Car Park. However he did not mention that they would, of course, be of no use whatsoever to customers of businesses in the Fox Lane to Hedge Lane section of Green Lanes. And, of course, at Winchmore Hill Broadway there just are not any spare spaces at all in the Fords Grove Car Park.


In the previous week's Enfield Independent a another letter on this same subject in which Britt Doughty-Godchaux claimed that there was only "handful of parking spaces along each shopping parade" and suggesting there was a "very limited amount of customers produced by these few spaces".


The pro-cycling/anti-motorist lobby often claim that shopkeepers exaggerate the numbers of their customers who use cars. In order to establish the truth the Green Lanes Business Association, N21 Business group and n21 online,carrie d out a pilot survey, amongst a representative sample of businesses along Green Lanes. No less than 37 Green Lanes businesses and 1110 of their customers participated in this survey.


The results showed that 87% of customers in Palmers Green and 93% of customers in Winchmore Hill travelled to and from the shops by car. Not exactly a "very limited amount".

So it is hardly surprising that the strongest opposition to these proposed cycle lanes at the Council's recent exhibition of plans at The Fox came came from local traders - many of whom may well stand loose their livelihoods if the Council's currently published plans were to be implemented. The survey, in which every customer was asked how they had arrived at the business, over a four week period in Novermber 2014, can easily be repeated should the Council dispute these findings.


Let us hope that when Enfield Council finally gets around to publishing its revised A105 cycling facilities proposals for public consultation - later this year - it manages to produce a scheme that would not have such a devastating effect on Green Lane businesses.


Please feel free to add your comments.


Robert Taylor

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