Highgate Society joins opposition to new village parking fees
Camden says overhaul is part of ambition to 'clean up the air'
18 February, 2019 — By Helen Chapman
TWO leading Highgate institutions have joined mounting opposition to new parking charges planned for the village.
The Highgate Society and Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution (HLSI) have raised concerns about plans to make drivers pay to park from 8.30am to 6.30pm in Highgate High Street and Pond Square.
The charging regime currently runs from 10am to midday only.
A consultation survey took place, but Camden and Haringey councils – the CPZ crosses the borough boundary – have faced complaints that some people did not receive letters. A second survey is now under way, with people being asked to give their views by February 28.
Isabel Raphael, who tutors at Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution in Pond Square, said: “Camden has bulldozed ahead without giving full information. There is no one to talk to and no one to give any information.”
She added: “The HLSI gets no endowment, no support from anybody at Camden. We are our own independent body and we make money from our events. The parking zone would restrict people who drive to the institution to attend lectures and our daytime events. I am concerned about our future.”
HLSI chair Kathy Dallas and the Highgate Society chair Elspeth Clements have written a joint letter to the Town Hall.
“It is clear that a holistic solution is needed, but has not been considered.This requires much closer cooperation with Haringey Council and with local stakeholders,” it says. “A large number of organisations and businesses on the Camden side of Highgate Village believe they were not consulted.”
Businesses fear trade will be hit if people are deterred from shopping by the new charges. If approved, the CPZ rules will come into force in April.
The councils say they will review the policy after three months rather than six months as originally planned.
Camden environment chief Councillor Adam Harrison, said: “The consultation for the Highgate village parking subzone was finely balanced, but the results showed there was an appetite on the part of some residents for extended hours of control.”
He added: “This, combined with our ambition to clean up the air and reduce congestion in Highgate, led to the decision to introduce extended hours. We will be monitoring the change and working closely with residents and businesses.”