Harrow’s parking crisis could be made worse by replacing station car parks with housing according to the Liberal Democrats.
A press release sent to Harrow Online said that three station car parks in Harrow will be largely replaced by housing, if plans by TfL and housing association Catalyst go ahead. Canons Park, Stanmore, and Rayners Lane stations will have their parking spaces reduced.
The Liberal Democrat’s are worried that this will affect people using the station, with impacts on local residents and businesses as commuters use local streets to park instead. But they say that there are also wider problems.
Ambulance service British Emergency Ambulance Response Service, BEARS, is based at Canons Park station car park. It employs 160 staff and serves local hospitals, ensuring that people who need an ambulance get one as quickly as possible.
Many staff at BEARS Canons Park have to travel in from Essex, often very early in the morning, when public transport is not readily available. BEARS encourages car-sharing but even so there is not enough parking.
The ambulance site does not include staff parking spaces, and employees are expected to use the station car park or local streets. But if the plans go ahead, parking at Canons Park station will be reduced by almost two thirds.
Adam Bernard, Liberal Democrat candidate for Harrow East, spoke to BEARS management and staff to understand their concerns. Claire Olohan-Bramley, the Head of Business of BEARS, told Dr Bernard that staff are already being forced into conflict with Canons Park residents by Harrow Council’s parking restrictions. This has led to ambulance staff being verbally assaulted and having their cars vandalised.”
Harrow Liberal Democrats reject the proposals in their current form. Dr Bernard said: “The impact on BEARS is an example of the short sighted thinking behind this development. Housing is important, but not without consideration for all the impacts of the development. At the very least affected organisations, especially those providing critical services, should have been consulted.”
“TfL should have insisted on underground parking to reduce the impact of this development. Getting more people onto public transport is not going to be achieved by making it impossible to park in Harrow. Many people unable to drive to their local tube station will instead use their car for the entire journey.”
Dr Bernard also criticised the developments’ lack of facilities for residents and people in the local area. “Developments in other areas have included spaces for shops, community organisations, creches or GP surgeries. The proposals for Harrow are almost exclusively residential. Harrow Liberal Democrats do not feel that this will benefit the people of Harrow.”