Parking drives shuls crazy

By Jessica Elgot, November 10, 2011
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Marble Arch Synagogue fears that planned extended Westminster parking charges on evenings and Sundays will "decimate" its evening minyanim.

Warden Bernard Silver complained: "It is going to make our life very difficult. Many of our elderly members don't feel comfortable coming to events in the evenings, especially in winter, unless they can come by car."

At the West London Reform congregation, executive director Simon Myers said the main impact would be on parents collecting their children from cheder on Sundays. But charges can be avoided if members park two blocks away from the shul.

Kosher caterer Tony Page believes the charge is "unfair. But although it is inconvenient, I don't think it will deter weddings in the West End."

However, Arieh Wagner, who heads the kosher catering operation at the Park Lane Hotel, predicted: "It will certainly have an effect on business. Many colleagues in the events industry are stuck. Video companies with heavy equipment will have to run out in the middle of the wedding to move their car. Charity dinners will suffer a lot, because they are usually midweek, where parking charges go on until midnight. It means there is unfair competition with venues outside the area. We already have problems enough with the congestion charge."

    Last updated: 12:37pm, November 10 2011