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Families and traders to benefit from new parking initiatives in Tower Hamlets

Columbia Road _ Luke O'Donovan (high res) (1 of 5)

Columbia Road, taken by Luke O'Donovan

Two new parking initiatives that will support local families and market traders have been given the go ahead.

At a Full Council meeting on 30 November, a motion was passed to introduce one-hour free parking for customers visiting a market in the borough as part of a package of help for local traders.

The Council is looking to protect its nine main markets across the borough in the current difficult financial climate. The hour-free parking is hoped to entice more customers to shop locally.

A total of 248 existing parking bays, within approximately 100 metres of a market, have been identified as suitable for this purpose.

The second motion passed was for the reintroduction of the four Parent Zones and the right of those who hold one-zone borough parking permits to park all day in the Parent Zone where they live, free of charge.

This initiative was included as one of the Mayoral Pledges during his election campaign.

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:

“It is more important than ever before that we support each other and stay connected. I believe that these new parking initiatives will ensure we can do just that.

“Bringing back the Parent Zones will have a positive impact on resident permit holders, providing flexibility, particularly for those who engage with family and community support networks. Moving freely around the borough is key to keeping our strong sense of community and togetherness.

“The announcement of these two schemes demonstrates our ongoing commitment to listening to our residents and making real changes that will better their everyday lives.”

Resident Permit Holders will receive a letter and new Terms and Conditions. This will give a minimum of 28 days’ notice to all permit holders and will detail the changes to be made and inform them of the date the changes will take effect and become operational.

Abu Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Growth, said:

“Our market traders have been exceptionally hard-working and resilient in recent years; we are doing everything we can to help their stalls thrive and allow residents to easily access the incredible products they offer.

“With ten street markets in the borough, I am sure the hour-free parking will be warmly welcomed, especially at a time where many are struggling due to the cost-of-living crisis.  

“If we shop local, we can support our economy and invest in the future of our high streets and markets. I hope to see many of our residents exploring our local offering in the coming weeks as they prepare for the festivities of the season.”

Current proposals outline that customers will use their phone to make a booking for their vehicle by a market, in the same way as they do now, and can obtain a one-hour parking session for free.

Drivers will only be able to book one free session per day and if they wish to stay for longer than an hour then they can choose to pay to extend their stay.

Please visit the parking section on our website to find more information on parking in the borough: Parking (towerhamlets.gov.uk)

Posted on Wednesday 7th December 2022