Parking set for upgrade after '30 years of no improvements' in Kirkley Road, Wimbledon

Wimbledon Guardian: Business owners in Merton Park have complained of a lack of parking in Kingston Road Business owners in Merton Park have complained of a lack of parking in Kingston Road

Business owners have welcomed news parking bays will be installed at a shopping hub after 30 years of 'no improvements.'

News that the junction of Kirkley Road, off Kingston Road, has been ear-marked for nine parking bays has been met with a mixed reaction by business owners who said plans should benefit all shops, not just those next to the proposed spaces.

An initial plan focussed on Kirkley Road only, but after speaking to other businesses including the Gooseberry Bush, Abbey ward Councillor Andrew Judge will look at providing more spaces will be provided further down Kingston Road.

Gooseberry Bush owner Angela Yates said: "I would like clarity with other shopping parades in Merton, whether it is having bays on the side roads or on the main roads."

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond is expected to meet with business people in Kingston Road on Friday, January 31 to discuss parking challenges.

Brigitte Birch, director of The London Pottery Company Ltd, said they were forced to close the doors of the shop around four years ago because of the lack of people stopping by, something she blamed on the limited amount of parking.

Mrs Birch said: "The main problems are people can’t park and use our shops because they won’t want to pay for parking.

"They don’t want to be restricted and worry about their car or that their parking will run out.

"We closed about four years ago and now are open for trade only - it was so bad."

In a letter to businesses and residents from Coun Andrew Judge, Katy Neep and Abigail Jones, re-engineering the edge of the pavement by Kirkley Road and dropping the kerb to create a series of dedicated parking bays in front of the parades on either side of the junction was suggested.

The letter stated this could see four bays to the east of the junction, and five to the west, with Pay and Display operating from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm with 20 minutes free.

Coun Judge said: "For the last 30 years nothing has happened with parking in that area. "For the first time in 30 years we have proposed a solution."

He said that the changes, if approved, would be made by the end of March this year.

A public consultation on the changes to parking on Kingston Road is due to begin on Thursday, January 16.

 

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