Borehamwood Times readers who took part in an online poll are overwhelmingly against plans to cut parking restrictions to just two hours.
The surprise decision to reduce the three hour parking limit in the shopping park, in Theobold Street, has prompted fury from people all across the community.
Our poll shows a total of 84 per cent of people will no longer shop in the park under the new rules to avoid having to “clock-watch” throughout their trip.
In contrast, just 14 per cent of people said they support the plans and will continue to visit the popular shopping park.
Many have called the move “crazy” and say the popular retail stores – which include New Look, Outfit and Next – will suffer a huge decline in trade.
People had previously been looking forward to a new Debenhams store opening up later this year – but they now say the new restrictions will deter them from visiting it.
Jones LaSalle, which owns the shopping park, say the move is under a trial period and was made to deter people from using their car park to visit nearby Shenley Road.
They say they ‘welcome’ shoppers – but many disagree.
Here’s what you told the Borehamwood Times this week...
'This will be its downfall'
Esther Evans, Claredon Road, 70: “There’s a fantastic atmosphere here. It’s almost like you’re on holiday. People meet their friends, dawdle around the shops and generally relax.
“The stress of only having two hours will take all of the joy out of coming here. It will put an unfair pressure on the shoppers.
“This is going to be their downfall. It is a very stupid move – it’s going to kill trade altogether.”
Elsa Baker, Stratfield Road, 79: “All these shops can take a running jump. They can keep their shopping park. I’m going to boycott it completely now. I am very disgruntled.
“What a selfish way to repay shoppers who have been coming here for almost 30 years. It’s a very short sighted thing. They don’t have a single care how much this could hurt the area.
“It is utterly ridiculous.”
Councillor Sandra Parnell: “They’re cutting of their noses to spite their faces – they don’t want people to use the car park to go to Shenley Road, but people won’t come here either.
“Everyone is incredibly disappointed but we just can’t understand how it’s been allowed to happen to such a big shopping area.
“It’s going to spoil everything we’ve loved about coming here.”
Eddy Ndeble: “It’s dreadful. People aren’t going to risk coming here because £85 is a lot to pay for just a simple trip to the shops.
“Nobody wants to feel rushed when they go shopping. It’s going to kill the area.”
Councillor Ernie Butler: “It’s a very selfish mentality – it’s going to shut the park off to the people who have loved coming here for so long.
“It’s a very convenient car park. Many people park here to go to the doctor, then file a prescription, have lunch and go shopping.
“Three hours isn’t enough time to do that.”
Jeffrey Rosen: “I am 100 per cent against the idea of changing the waiting time from three hours to two hours.”
Barbara Wheeler: “Yet another measure to discourage people from shopping in Borehamwood and go elsewhere. Already shops are shutting down.”
Steven Davis: “How unfair to charge £85 if my car returns within three hours to do more shopping. Four of my family use the same vehicle, so now we must keep a log showing when it arrives and leaves.
“Who benefits from the rule? Not the shopper or the shops.”
Kate Bhamjee, Edgware: “My daughter goes to a tutor here and the car park is the perfect location, and I’d hate to have to rush her through her lessons.
“Everyone has been looking forward to Debenhams opening up but nobody is going to bother now – what’s the point?
“It’s unbelievable really. I love coming here but I’m totally put off it now. You couldn’t possibly shop in just two hours.”
Thomas Taruwinga: “It’s not fair. They should have considered speaking to people who use the car park first, and show us a bit more courtesy than they have. Nobody will bother going to Debenhams.
“They just decided it willy nilly without even thinking about the repercussions this will have.”
Suzanne Alford, 48, of Hunters Close: “Debenhams will suffer when it opens because people won’t bother coming here with such ridiculous parking restrictions.
“You can easily spend more than two hours wandering around the shops. It’s almost as if they are discouraging people to spend money.
“It’s unbelievable – I just can’t see the reason or logic behind it.”
Diane Lee: “These new charges will just make shoppers go elsewhere. When Debenhams comes along it won’t be worth going there for the fear of checking the time every few minutes.
“Surely the shops must realise it is going to affect them? There needs to be a ticket machine with the option to pay if you want to stay longer.”
Franklin: “It beggars belief the time is being reduced to two hours – why? When Debenhams opens it is going to make it extremely difficult for people to fit everything in.
“By the time you have shopped in Lidl and other clothes shops , you’ll see two hours is ridiculous. I cannot believe all the shops in the precinct will be happy with this stupid edict.”
'What about disabled people?'
Mr G Kelly: “My wife is disabled and I drop her off to do some shopping there and then come back. How can I go and pick her up if I can’t return within three hours?”
Angela Cooklin “This is unacceptable – I have a disabled child and the last thing I want to do is clock watching while I’m having a coffee.
“I’ll shop elsewhere from the stress of it.”
Lack of consultation...
Katie Green, 32, Leeming Road: “It’s grossly disrespectful to the customers who love coming here. People should have at least been warned or given notice. It’s a mad situation.”
Jack Staal: “They are working against the retailers by reducing the free parking period. Shoppers will be put off, causing a reduced footfall in the stores.
“It is a bit underhand to make the changes to the free parking time allowance with any notification.”
Sharon Avram: “I was appalled to discover this. There were no signs of warning or change – it is clearly to entrap people into paying parking fines.
If anybody wants to have lunch in Costa or any of the cafes or restaurants in the area, do some food shopping in Lidl and shop for clothes, two hours is nowhere near long enough.
“I personally will do all my shopping from now on in Brent Cross where the parking is free and unlimited from now on.”