Residents and business owners vowed to fight a proposed new parking scheme for Wanstead five years ago this week.
New parking charges will kill community hubs, damage businesses, and risk people’s jobs, residents have warned.
Redbridge Council admitted it plans to introduce pay and display parking in Wanstead High Street and parking permits in surrounding roads last month.
The new scheme will be rolled out in February 2017 under an “experimental traffic order”, which means the council does not have to consult people beforehand.
But after the Guardian reported the proposals residents and business owners have branded the scheme unfair, undemocratic and bad for business.
Michael Powis, of Grosvenor Road, cannot believe the council wants to impose parking charges after he “fought tooth and nail” to stop the same thing happening in 2011.
He said: “I spent a lot of time and money on a campaign to stop this very thing from happening five years ago.
“I didn’t do that to have to do it all again a few years later.
“Are we going to have to fight against parking charges with every new council that gets elected?”
Mr Powis added he fears parking permits in Nightingale Lane will mean The Nightingale and The Duke pubs “completely lose” their lunchtime trade.
He said: “Elderly people on pensions and working people on fixed incomes won’t be able to afford these parking permits.
“I know a lady in Wanstead who is 102.
“She has carers coming in and out all day to look after her, and now she’s going to have to pay for their parking permits.
“The scheme isn’t democratic at all. It’s all about revenue for the council.”
Wanstead parking permits will cost £45 for a year, £82 for two per household, and £108 for three or more.
Business permits will cost £265 annually.
But Josee Gritten, of Overton Drive, claims the parking permits will put hers and other businesses at serious risk.
The childminder said: “I look after children in my home and these new rules will be a nightmare for me, because parents will really struggle to drop off and pick up their children without getting a parking ticket.
“I’m self-employed and provide an essential service to local families, but this will really cost me.
“And what about Wanstead Golf Club and Wanstead & Snaresbrook Cricket Clubs?
“They are both fantastic businesses and employ and support lots of local people.
“How will they be able to carry on if their customers and players can only park for two hours?
“People could lose their jobs over this and sports facilities and services for young people could be affected too.”
Art Trail Wanstead founder Donna Mizzi has started an online petition against the parking scheme.
She said: “I believe these plans will destroy local fairs, events, and other community hubs.”
Redbridge Council claims the scheme will support businesses by giving people a “fairer chance to park” on the high street and stopping commuters and shoppers taking up residential parking spaces on Wanstead’s side streets.
It claims half of the high street’s parking spaces are used for more than three hours, often by people travelling to Westfield in Stratford or further to central London.
A spokesman said: “The council has taken feedback from thousands of people to build a plan to make parking fairer in Redbridge.
“This project is one of the ways we are proposing to implement that plan.”
But Mr Powis and his neighbours Helen Zammett and Geoff Horsnell maintain the scheme is a “cash cow”.
He said: “This isn’t about democracy, this is all about money.”
Redbridge Council cabinet Member for environment and sustainability Cllr John Howard said: “This project isn’t about income, it’s about making parking fairer for residents and businesses and providing a better facility for visitors to the area.
“The project will give more parking choices and availability for residents and visitors to Wanstead by freeing up road space that is occupied by long term commuter and other parking.
“We also hope to have a positive impact on the environment
“The scheme will reduce the need for drivers to search around to find parking spaces, which has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, reduce noise and emissions, and improve air quality.
“Residents who wish to buy permits will find that they are good value for money and cost less than £1.”