Twenty minutes free parking reinstated after year long delay
A twenty minute free parking period in Wimbledon Village was officially reinstated by Merton Council this week - twelve months after it was first agreed.
Merton’s three opposition parties agreed in March 2012 to overturn a decision made by the Labour run administration in 2011 to reduce free parking in the area from twenty to ten minutes.
At the time Merton Council said the policy reversal could not be done until October because of the Olympics, but this was then further delayed by a planned trial of new restrictions through the nearby Belvederes cluster which in the end did not go ahead.
The council announced this week that signage and pay and display machines were finally being changed to inform people of their entitlement to twenty minutes free parking in the area.
MP for Wimbledon, Stephen Hammond criticised the council for being "asleep on the job" and has said increased parking is still needed in the area.
He said: "The imposition of only 10 minutes free parking and the removal of some spaces in Church Road has really hurt local retailers".
"I am glad the council has seen sense and is restoring the 20 minutes free but as yet there has been no publicity to confirm this and understandably everyone is confused."
Other changes that have been made to the area include a relaxation of parking restrictions in Church Road, High Street and Wimbledon Village allowing people to park all day on a Saturday in pay and display bays.
An extra ten bays for both residents and pay and display will also be introduced in Lancaster Road while the loading bay in Courthope Road has been changed to shared use allowing for 20 minutes free parking between 8.30am and 10am and loading between 10am and 6.30 pm.
Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said: "What I want is to get a debate going to talk about what the council can do to help parking in the village.
"That debate needs to be is there any way we can get a parking lot or element in the village?"
Twenty minutes free parking is available in:-
- High Street Wimbledon
- Courthope Road
- Belvedere Grove
- Grosvenor Hill
- The Crescent
- Arthur Road.