Restaurant bosses in Archway threaten legal action over ‘illogical’ parking controls

Jenny Song of Sushi Wa, Fabrizio Tolomeo of Fabrizio and James Hutchinson of Popeseye outside the re

Jenny Song of Sushi Wa, Fabrizio Tolomeo of Fabrizio and James Hutchinson of Popeseye outside the restaurants in Highgate Hill. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Restaurant bosses in Highgate Hill are threatening legal action against Islington Council after customers were banned from parking for free outside their businesses.

The parking notice in Waterlow Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

The parking notice in Waterlow Road. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Twenty-four hour resident parking has been introduced after drivers who live near the Whittington Hospital complained visitors were nicking their spaces.

But the area it covers includes the bays outside of Popeseye Steakhouse, Fabrizio pizzeria and Suhsi Wa. That leaves diners who choose to drive facing a bill for up to £10 if they park nearby before 6.30pm, after which there is a flat fee of £2.40.

James Hutchison, owner of Popeseye, said they were all losing customers as a result, and said the council was ignoring its own policy to support and protect local traders.

He said: “These parking restrictions are unfair, illogical and unprecedented in the local area.

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“They put our small businesses at a significant commercial disadvantage to all else in the borough and warrant reconsideration on the council’s part.

“Failure to do so will result in a protracted lawsuit, which I am very sure none of us want.

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“I understand that the changes were brought in to appease the residents of Waterlow Road, who were unable to park in the residents’ bays due to Whittington Hospital visitors and staff taking their spaces after 7pm.

“This is understandable, but why include all the non-resident, pay-and-display bays which have nothing to do with the residents’ concerns?

“Our three businesses are restaurants. We each pay far more council tax than any resident. Surely we have as much say then as they do, if not more?

“We are losing business with customers complaining they are having to pay more than £10 to park while they are eating – up to £6 an hour, which is ludicrous.”

Islington’s transport boss Cllr Claudia Webbe said: “Local residents in Zone K have long asked for extra parking controls, because of the very high numbers of non-local people parking in the area.

“We carried out extensive consultation and 80 per cent of responses from Zone K, on a high response rate, supported the changes.”

But she vowed: “We are very happy to talk to local businesses about any issues and how we can help them.”

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