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Kenley traders worried by plan to axe parking officers


KENLEY shopkeepers have criticised plans to slash the number of officers patrolling parking spaces along the parade.

The traders have lobbied hard to have the parking restrictions enforced to stop cars hogging the bays all day – a problem that prevents shoppers from stopping at their shops.

Vijay Ghadia, who runs the chemist's, told the Advertiser: "We really need the officers here, our business suffered when they weren't and they will again if they go."

At the moment, two patrol officers are provided by the Safer Transport Command (STC) which is a section of the Met and funded by Transport for London.

Florist Marilyn Poulton said all the shops had flourished as soon as officers began enforcing the one-hour restrictions outside the parade a few months ago.

They have been a continuous presence since then, based at Kenley Police Station.

Kodees Kana, who runs an off licence next door, said: "People just park outside all day otherwise and make no room for people who want to stop and come to our shops."

Traders were dismayed to receive a letter from the STC saying that situation was "not sustainable" as the officers were meant for the "rest of the south east" and a different solution would have to be found.

Ms Poulton said the other options – a patrol van visiting occasionally or cameras installed – were either ineffective or unlikely to be implemented.

The head of the Kenley and District Residents' Association, Chris Stanley, said a STC officer paid a visit during a committee meeting in July.

"We had a talk where the sergeant said the Met had to pay out for the patrol officers specially. Reading between the lines, they obviously think it's costing too much money," he said.

"He told us their patrols will be under review to see if it's the right way to enforce the parking.

"Obviously we have the shopkeepers' interests at heart and we have asked for a meeting between the police, traders and residents.

"The police seem to be running their own agenda without referring back to anyone. If the parking spaces aren't enforced then people simply do not shop in Kenley."

Local councillor Steve O'Connell said: "I have opposed this plan robustly to the police.

"I understand they cost the police but the enforcement has been very good and has made a difference to the shops in Kenley."

Traders, the residents' association, Croydon Police and TfL have all been invited by the STC to a meeting about the parking issue on October 4, in the village hall, at 7pm.

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