Saturday, 7 April 2012

Want to park in Fitzjohn Avenue Car Park for 30 minutes - that will be £4 please!

Maybe it is just me but when did Barnet Council take the decision to turn Fitzjohn Avenue Car park into a long stay car park?

In the Barnet Press yesterday was a notification showing the various tariff changes in Barnet car parks. One that caught my eye was the Fitzjohn Avenue car park. Currently there is a graduated tariff ranging from £1.00 for 30 minutes through to £5.00 for over 90 minutes. From 30 April this will change to a single tariff of £4.00. I popped up there today to check this out and sure enough the official notices show exactly the same. I have to say the car park was surprisingly empty with just 8 cars in a car park with 88 spaces. So even if you only want to stay for half an hour it will cost you £4.00 from 30 April.

I have been through all of the cabinet papers and environment notices and I haven’t found one that talks about a change of use for this car park. Whilst turning Fitzjohn Avenue into a long stay car park may benefit the college next door, this tariff will condemn the car park to being empty out of term time and on Saturdays.

Maybe the Barnet Residents’ Association or Barnet Traders agreed to this a proposal but nothing in the public domain appears to have been discussed before the issuing of these notices. Will this be a further nail in the coffin for High Barnet at the hands of Cllr Coleman?


  1. I could have saved you a drive Mr Reasonable as I live so close. I am surprised I didn't bump into you as I was checking out the £1,000 trees that now dot the pavement in High Barnet. I expect you noticed them although they are more like saplings than trees.

    You will need to ask to see a copy of the traffic order which is legally required to effect this change. The council do usually remember to do this but occasionally they forget. If it doesn't exist I think that all parking tickets will be invalid.

    This change is probablt another one of Bwian's Bwainwaves as carried out by his dutiful close protection officer, Pam Wharfe.

  2. This is a part of a long thought out and fought for attempt to solve the parking problems in High Barnet and to help bring shoppers back. As suggested, it has been initiated and backed by the BRA and the BTA.

    The reason behind this is to clear the long stay parkers out of Moxon St., Stapylton Road etc. to create room for shoppers. It may be that those car parks will see a reduction in fees after the GLA election.


    To make this happen I believe that commuters and business holders will not be able to park in those car parks and so will have to use Fitzjohns.

    There has been some detail about this in public meetings and newsletters. Let's wait for further clarification before slamming this!

  3. My office was in Moxon St for over 20 years, and I often go down there to chat to my old office neighbours. Even on a Saturday morning in December, when the rush should be on for Xmas presents, that car park was bereft of customers with only the odd dozen cars in there and people looking at the pay by phone sign and rolling their eyes.

    Sensible visitors to High Barnet will park in The Spires or on the edge of the zone and walk in. You can park for nothing on Hadley Common in the afternoons.

    I have a house that is 25m from the Stapylton Road car park. Nearly every day the car park is half empty or worse.

    I know the BRA have worked hard on a strategy (from which the council will only pick the bits they agree with) but the only succesful return of shoppers to High Barnet will require parking meters and lower tariffs.

    Is there a sign in the Fitzjohn Ave car park so that short term visitors know what choices there are? I doubt it. If they drive halfway down Fitzjohn Ave they can park for free. They need to be fit as it is a bit hilly.

  4. Dear Anonymous, you say we should wait for clarification but with greatest respect when notices go up stating the new tariff starts in 3 weeks I think the time for clarification has passed. I am user of Fitzjohn Ave as it is very handy for The Sound Garden. Taking out 88 short term car parking at this end of the high street needs some explaining and from my perspective represents a very high risk strategy.When is the BRA/Barnet Traders going to explain their strategy to existing users. Please reassure all the users of High Barnet, not just High Barnet residents that this is not simply treating the symptoms not the root cause which is expensive pay by phone parking. I am intrigued to understand why you think parking charges will change after the GLA elections given they have nothing to do with the GLA and even if Cllr Coleman loses his seat he will still rule Barnet Council. Please share your views with everyone!

  5. Gordon Massey has published much on the BRA website (e.g. and has delivered his analysis at a well attended and press reported public meeting at the Bull last year. Indeed, Pam Wharf attended that meeting and the Fitzjohn changes are the start to a realignment of the town's parking based on Mr Massey’s recommendations.

    Moxon St car park is very much at the heart of the High St (as opposed to the Spires) and I think you should find it almost as easy to reach the Sound Garden from there (no traffic lights to cross). I understand that new signs displaying each of the car parks designations will be going up. At present Moxon St has no signs and many Barnet residents are not aware of its existence! I agree, it would be useful to show what options are available at each location. As it is, traders will be giving out leaflets.

    Currently, as a result of the cashless regime, Stapylton and Moxon St are desperately underused. Prior to the hike in charges last year I could not get in Moxon St. if I was later than 8:30 in the morning - by that time it would be full with all day parking. Since then it became easy, but now it is often half full even on a Saturday.

    I believe that the plan is to reduce the rates in these two car parks to increase short stay churn. In short: to attract shoppers back to the High Street. Our experience is that those shoppers who park in the Spires do not venture far from it

    Yes, of course, the method of payment has been the final nail in the coffin. November 8th was the day they switched off the meters – a day that traders will not forget! This is another battle we are continuing to fight. Cashless parking has removed all ‘shoppers’ from our high streets. Vouchers are useless to the prosperity of the town – they are used by people who can plan ahead to visit, say, a relative. Out of town people have no idea about the vouchers and certainly no inclination to spend time and effort buy them from the council.

    Cashless parking is great for SOME people – business reps, savvy iPhone users and so on - but certainly not most. It should only be one of the methods offered. I was in Westminster last weekend – they have fantastic solar powered meters that accept coins, credit and debit cards and display the location number and phone details for PayByPhone.