Archway traders: Give us back our parking bays
PUBLISHED: 09:42 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:01 30 May 2017
Dismayed traders and customers want better disabled access to Archway shops after parking spaces were lost in the gyratory works.
Elderly and disabled people who drive to stores in Flowers Mews, Archway Close and St John’s Way now have to compete for four spaces, two of which are loading bays. Before the road was ripped up there were 20 spaces.
And Emma Krestin of family opticians Just4Specs, in St John’s Way, is leading a campaign to convert one of the loading bays into two disabled spaces.
“A lot of our patients are complaining about it,” she told the Gazette. “People aren’t very happy. There’s a few elements of the work that are lovely. We support the improvements to the gyratory, but not at the disadvantage of disabled drivers, the elderly and local car users.”
The campaigners face an uphill battle, however, because the council said removing or shortening a loading bay would cause problems for the shops using them.
Emma, whose family have been in the street for 81 years, also said some elderly customers had tripped on the new, raised cycle lane and ended up in the Whittington Hospital, incidents the town hall is now investigating.
Dr Cornell Fleming, a Just4Specs customer of 20 years, said if he wants to go to the shops from his home in Hornsey Lane he now has to get a taxi.
“I can only walk a short distance,” said the former GP, who is registered disabled. “It’s a big, big problem. You can never park there. In general the work to the gyratory is not a bad idea, but removing the bays is a nonsense.”
Town hall regeneration boss Kevin O’Leary said an impact assessment had been done and the council had worked with disability experts to make the square suitable for people with visual impairments or in wheelchairs.
“We take issues of disabled access extremely seriously,” he said. “Some non-disabled parking spaces in Archway Close have been removed but no disabled bays have been affected. Reducing the length of the Flowers Mews loading bay may create problems for shops and services.”