Free parking to be rolled out across Waltham Forest shopping areas for Christmas

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

FREE parking will be rolled out across Waltham Forest this weekend in the hope of boosting trade in the run-up to Christmas.

The scheme, allowing shoppers to park for free for 15 minutes, will be implemented in high streets across the borough for the month of December before being made permanent early next year.

Car parks will also offer two hours free parking every Saturday and Thursday evening before Christmas as Waltham Forest Council seeks to encourage people to use struggling shops trying to woo customers back.

At the moment most shopping areas offer parking bays where drivers must buy vouchers from stores, but all will be given 15-minute free parking for the festive season.

The scheme will then be made permanent across the same areas next year, with the authority estimating the process will be completed by February or March.

Clyde Loakes, cabinet member for the environment, said: "We’re very mindful that for a lot of businesses Christmas is a key time, providing them with a substantial proportion of their profits for the year. By being so generous with our free parking this Christmas we hope local people will be encouraged to spend their money in local shops.

"We have also listened to the wishes of local residents and businesses in rolling out the 15-minute free parking in bays.

"I feel sure the majority of people will welcome the opportunity to park in bays all over the borough for free when they just want to pop into a shop for a pint of milk or loaf of bread."

The rollout comes after the scheme was introduced in Station Road and Chingford Mount Road in Chingford as well as High Road, Leyton, since 2011, proving to be a success in attracting shoppers who only wanted to buy odd items.

No parking enforcement will take place on bank holidays over the festive period and no vehicle removals will take place on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve after 12:30pm.

The car parks offering two hours free parking on Saturdays prior to Christmas and Thursday evenings (from 4pm) before Christmas are listed below.

Brandon Road, Walthamstow

High Street, Walthamstow

Linford Road, Walthamstow

Mission Grove, Walthamstow

South Grove, Walthamstow

Church Lane, Leytonstone

Stanley Road, Leyton

Hall Lane, Chingford

Richmond Road, Chingford

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Comments (9)

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5:31pm Thu 29 Nov 12

RayJay says...

Is this council seing sense at last?
To boost trade in the borough we need freedom of access ad movement
Is this council seing sense at last? To boost trade in the borough we need freedom of access ad movement RayJay
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Thu 29 Nov 12

mdj says...

' By being so generous with our free parking this Christmas we ...'
'Our' streets, Mr Loakes? These people really do believe that this borough belongs to them. Is there a label for this delusion?
He didn't show much sign of listening to local people when these cumbersome and overbearing voucher bays were brought in. How many local businesses have folded because of them?
One can't expect such a word as 'Sorry' from Cllr Loakes, but this is a policy U-turn; a pity he can't be honest enough to admit it, or to apologise for the damage caused.
' By being so generous with our free parking this Christmas we ...' 'Our' streets, Mr Loakes? These people really do believe that this borough belongs to them. Is there a label for this delusion? He didn't show much sign of listening to local people when these cumbersome and overbearing voucher bays were brought in. How many local businesses have folded because of them? One can't expect such a word as 'Sorry' from Cllr Loakes, but this is a policy U-turn; a pity he can't be honest enough to admit it, or to apologise for the damage caused. mdj
  • Score: 0

8:27pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Cornbeefur says...

Fantastic news.

I would imagine most people will be able to do their Christmas shopping in 15 minutes.

Otherwise, at least they will exercise their lungs and lose a bit of weight before the big day?
Fantastic news. I would imagine most people will be able to do their Christmas shopping in 15 minutes. Otherwise, at least they will exercise their lungs and lose a bit of weight before the big day? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

9:11pm Thu 29 Nov 12

chingford lad says...

15 minutes for christmas shopping. Might be enough for the odd card or cellotape. Where are these shops for Christmas shopping? Don`t the councillors realise most people prefer department stores, the borough did have some, but then the looney left came along & we finished up with none.
I can`t imagine the frustration the local traders have to go through to make a living, long hours etc. Please when you land, give them a break, scrap all parking charges from now till Christmas.
15 minutes for christmas shopping. Might be enough for the odd card or cellotape. Where are these shops for Christmas shopping? Don`t the councillors realise most people prefer department stores, the borough did have some, but then the looney left came along & we finished up with none. I can`t imagine the frustration the local traders have to go through to make a living, long hours etc. Please when you land, give them a break, scrap all parking charges from now till Christmas. chingford lad
  • Score: 0

10:47pm Thu 29 Nov 12

gary300 says...

Too little, too late. This is all very generous by Mr Loakes but the proliferation of CPZ across the borough has and continues to kill the boroughs businesses. I'd rather drive to Westfield than try and find a parking space for 15 minutes!
Too little, too late. This is all very generous by Mr Loakes but the proliferation of CPZ across the borough has and continues to kill the boroughs businesses. I'd rather drive to Westfield than try and find a parking space for 15 minutes! gary300
  • Score: 0

11:27am Fri 30 Nov 12

NorthcoterE17 says...

A good start, if a tad on the tokenism side.

It has to be asked why 2 hrs on Thurs (after 4pm) & Saturdays and a mere 15 minutes other days in other spaces?

Councils like Kent, Pembrokeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk are doing free parking everyday for 1 hour. SIMPLE.

Even Westfield (Shepards Bush) are doing free 2 hr parking everyday up to mid Dec.

The complications of after 4pm on one day, 15mins on other spaces etc means confusion will reign. Especially when CPZ ends at 6.30pm NOT 6pm (which is misleading if we are told 4-6pm is free on Thurs, but the last half an hour from 6-6.30pm still applies on a Thurs if it is a CPZ spot I expect!)

I foresee many people getting a ticket & scratching their heads.

Oh. I've just realised why this has been made so complicated...
A good start, if a tad on the tokenism side. It has to be asked why 2 hrs on Thurs (after 4pm) & Saturdays and a mere 15 minutes other days in other spaces? Councils like Kent, Pembrokeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk are doing free parking everyday for 1 hour. SIMPLE. Even Westfield (Shepards Bush) are doing free 2 hr parking everyday up to mid Dec. The complications of after 4pm on one day, 15mins on other spaces etc means confusion will reign. Especially when CPZ ends at 6.30pm NOT 6pm (which is misleading if we are told 4-6pm is free on Thurs, but the last half an hour from 6-6.30pm still applies on a Thurs if it is a CPZ spot I expect!) I foresee many people getting a ticket & scratching their heads. Oh. I've just realised why this has been made so complicated... NorthcoterE17
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 30 Nov 12

SXH says...

15 minutes how generous by the time you que up in the shops you have been giving a ticket.
15 minutes how generous by the time you que up in the shops you have been giving a ticket. SXH
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Fri 30 Nov 12

mdj says...

'Oh. I've just realised why this has been made so complicated...'

You've sussed it, Northcoter!
Ever been towed away for parking in a deserted residential street on a single yellow line on a Sunday? It can happen to you...
'Oh. I've just realised why this has been made so complicated...' You've sussed it, Northcoter! Ever been towed away for parking in a deserted residential street on a single yellow line on a Sunday? It can happen to you... mdj
  • Score: 0

10:14pm Sun 2 Dec 12

leyton_man says...

So you can park for free to get your Christmas shopping, presumably some fried chicken or some plastic kitchenware from the pavement of one of the many tatty shops, but you can't park outside your own home for free and shop online?
Vote these losers out.
So you can park for free to get your Christmas shopping, presumably some fried chicken or some plastic kitchenware from the pavement of one of the many tatty shops, but you can't park outside your own home for free and shop online? Vote these losers out. leyton_man
  • Score: 0

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