Council plans to spend £300,000 on improving street scene on Chigwell Road in Woodford Bridge

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

TRADERS who saw off plans to introduce tough parking restrictions outside their shops appear to have won another victory.

Redbridge council are proposing to spend £300,000 on improving the street scene on Chigwell Road between the entrance to Ashton playing field and the slip road adjacent to the Manor Road roundabout in Woodford Bridge.

The plans would see resurfacing of the battered footpaths and removal of street furniture clutter as well as further parking provision and a new loading bay on the Chigwell Road/Manor Road stretch.

The scheme, which will be discussed at a meeting the council’s Area Two Committee on November 20, has been welcomed by Pat Ilett, 70, whose family run a florist and a cafe on the road.

She led a successful campaign by traders which forced the council to ditch plans to paint double yellow lines outside the shops on the slip road.

“It’s about time they spent some money on the area,” she said. “They have already given us a couple of parking bays and any further improvements would be welcome.

“It’s just a shame our local councillors won’t give us the money for some Christmas lights and hanging baskets like they have over in Woodford Green and South Woodford.”

Fellow trader Charlie Skaros, 51, who runs the Seafarers chip shop, also welcomed the news that money was being spent on the area.

But he urged the council to consider replacing a small patch of grass outside the shops with more parking spaces.

“They could get another 10 spaces in there,” he said. “All the shops along here would like them to do that because it’s not a very pretty patch of grass and it would help trade.”

If approved, the works will begin in February 2013 with the council penciling in summer 2013 as a completion date.

The council hopes the work will help with a bid to secure a further grant from TfL which it expects to get a decision on in December.

And Tommy O’Hara, 23, who runs the Bridge Flooring shop, said: “There are still some empty shops around here.

“The area does need a bit of attention so anything that makes it a more attractive place for shoppers is welcome.”

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