Our high street is becoming a ghost town thanks to bungling council's Clean Air Zone rules – they're ruining our lives | The Sun

ANGRY business owners have slammed a bungling council's "nonsense" traffic calming measures.

Independent retailers said it was ruining lives as one restaurant allegedly lost £10k in the two months since the scheme was brought into a Labour-run London borough.

The Hammersmith and Fulham Council (LBHF) "Clean Air Neighbourhood" scheme uses cameras to ban non-residents from driving down back streets.

It's the latest effort to limit air pollution in London.

Motorists who break the rules face a hefty fine, and they are not the only ones who have been hit in the pocket.

Footfall has dramatically decreased in the area since it was brought in, local business owners have claimed.

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Under the new scheme, only residents with vehicles registered in the borough can go through the cameras at the junction of Stokenchurch Street and Ryecroft Street, Perrymead Street, Peterborough Road, Broomhouse Lane, and Edenhurst Avenue.

Drivers coming from other parts of London, including nearby Wandsworth Bridge, face a fine if they try and access the side streets.


Speaking to MailOnline Mehmet Oz, 29, manager of Fulham Greens, said: "It's affecting the business.

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"People used to park here on a Saturday. This is a grocery store. 

"People want to park their car, get a bit of shopping and take it to their car if they can't carry it.

"We used to have a lot coming from Wandsworth Bridge."

Nicholas Kennerson, 49, who has owned the frame fitting shop Fix Your Pix since 1995, has labelled the scheme "a load of ***".

He said: "The council sent someone round, I said it's nonsense, but they're going to force it through.

"We're all losing money two months in."

He claimed local restaurant Hally's has lost £10,000 because of the scheme.

The manager of The Real Flower Company, Catherine Rubaine, 57, said it is affecting the business "big time".

She agreed customers from the Wandsworth Bridge area have stopped visiting.

She said it has been a "nightmare", adding that takings are down by at least 10 per cent a week minimum.


The new measures are now sending more traffic onto the main roads in the area, resulting in more congestion, something Sarah said is "polluting a hell of a lot more."

This scheme was put in place after a successful trial to the east of Wandsworth Bridge Road.

It saw "8,000 fewer cars emitting dangerous nitrogen oxide entering the area" and carbon dioxide emissions "reduced by one tonne a day", according to the council.

A LBHF spokesperson said New Kings Road has "totally different traffic issues" to Wandsworth Bridge Road, and it would be wrong to blame increased congestion in New Kings Road on the authority's clean air trial. 

Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, Greg Hands, disagrees and has criticised the scheme.

He tweeted on March 17: "Really helpful meeting with residents across Fulham last night opposed to the Labour council's botched traffic scheme.

"My view has always been that the council must consult properly across Fulham before doing radical measures like these.

"Businesses being hammered too."

LBHF's cabinet member for the public realm, Sharon Holder, said: "I'm sorry to see Mr Hands talking down Fulham business just as his government has done down Britain's business over the last 13 years.

'We back business in Hammersmith & Fulham.

"That's why we designed the Clean Air Neighbourhood trial so customers can reach every business without going through a camera. 

"We're also going door-to-door on our high streets to ensure the trial works for all firms in the area."

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SunOnline has approached Hammersmith and Fulham Council for comment.

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