Walsall Labour Party
Walsall Council Labour Group
2012-12-10 - Shops Threatened by Parking Row.
Traders in Leamore are warning that proposed parking restrictions could kill off heart of the local community.
Shopkeepers on the junction of Bloxwich Road, Leamore Lane and Harden Road say plans to increase double yellow lines will deter customers and prevent them loading and unloading goods.
Walsall council is planning to remove a bus lane at the busy junction and extend existing parking restriction along the Bloxwich Road.
But local businesses say they will deter their customers from using their shops and existing parking on a nearby shopping precinct won’t be able to cope with the overfollow.
Susan Arnold, who has run her furniture shop on Bloxwich Road for 13 years, said the restrictions would hit her businesses hard.
“The double yellow lines would be right outside my shop. They will stop me loading and unloading my van and prevent my customers using their cars.
A proposed parking bay further down the road will be limited to only 30 minutes and would have to be shared with all the other shops. I fear that it will put me out of business.”
Tacey Lowe, who runs Ma Baker’s café, said the council was ignoring local traders’ concerns: “This could kill us off. Council policy is to listen to people and no-one has listened to us.”
Newsagent Ram Patel, Chairman of Local Traders Association, said the restrictions would hit all local shops.
“It’s a bad time for businesses as it is. The overflow from these restrictions will lead to all the parking spaces in the shopping precinct being occupied and prevent access to our customers.
We want the council to bring in a right turn filtering system from Bloxwich Road to Harden Lane, avoiding the need to extend the double yellow lines.
If this shopping area dies, it will harm the whole community,” he warned.
The traders are being supported by their local Labour Councillors.
Bob Thomas who represents the Blakenall ward , said the Bloxwich Road was boundary between two wards.
“If local traders go out of business, people in both wards will be forced to either go to Bloxwich or Walsall town centres to shop. Our Conservative run council boasts it listens to local businesses but here, they are ignoring people.”
Lee Jeavons, who represents Birchills and Leamore, added: “I am disturbed by the potential effects of these proposals on what is the "beating commercial heart of Leamore". In these times of austerity independent traders are living on the edge, we need to be giving them a helping hand, not shoving them over the cliff. This could tear the heart out of the Leamore community".