by SOPHIE KIRKHAM

Traders in Station Road, Harrow, fear for future of their businesses after new parking restrictions were imposed on October 1.

Householders in Nibthwaite Road have won their fight for residents-only parking, but this has left local businesses with almost no parking spaces for staff or customers. There are a few pay-and-display bays along their shop parade, but not enough, according to the shopowners. Businesses hit include an Indian cinema, a dry cleaner's and several restaurants.

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Fiaz Ansari, who owns the Lahore Indian Restaurant, said his daytime trade had already dropped by about half.

"It has taken me three years to build up my client trade for lunch, I can't survive just on nights," he said.

Anona O'Sullivan, who runs Gem Appointments, said: "I usually have my temps popping in and out all the time and today, Friday, is my busiest day, but there isn't a soul in the shop."

Parking in Rosslyn Cresent, on the other side of Station Road, is not restricted and is usually bumper-to-bumper with cars, while Nibthwaite Road can have as many as 40 spaces vacant during the day when residents are away from home.

David Eden, a resident of Rosslyn Cresent, wants residents' parking in his street too, but said: "Everyone has sympathy for the local shopowners and no one wants to see them shut down, there must be some sort of alternative."

The NW London Chamber of Commerce has come up with a solution that it hopes will be considered by the council. In a letter to senior councillors, it says that a part-time permit system could be enforced. Residents would have sole use of spaces before 9.30am and after 5.30pm, and between those hours, a pay-and-display system could be in force for non-residents.

Liz Mackenzie, the chamber's chief executive, said: "Unfortunately, the planners on the council are completely opposed to us. They just want fewer cars on the road and think we should all use bicycles, but most of us have more complicated lives than that."

Marlborough Ward councillor Phil O'Dell (Labour), a member of the traffic, transport and road safety committee, doubted anything could be done.

"If there is a particular problem with the design, it may be reviewed within six months, otherwise changes are usually left to settle for two years," he said.

Ms O'Sullivan added: "No one stops at the newsagent's any more, the place is crawling with parking attendants and it's a £40 fine on the spot. I didn't survive one of the largest economic recessions this country has ever seen to be wiped out by this ridiculous parking scheme."

She is organising a petition and hopes to make a presentation to the traffic committee on November 18.

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