Disappointment on parking permit charges
Chiswick prices to be cut but remain by far the highest in the borough
Hopes of a major change in local parking policy were dashed this week with the publication of new proposals for charges.
Although Chiswick will see a cut of £5 for a Hounslow parking permit for the first car, the recommendations of the original report, which would have brought borough parking charges much closer to standardisation have been watered down. A permit will now cost £65 in Chiswick against £35 in Hounslow.
still no plans to reduce the cost of visitor vouchers, which will still
cost twice as much in Chiswick as in Hounslow,
The original recommendations were vetoed by Area Committees in the west of the borough who did not want to see their charges rise in order to help finance cuts in Chiswick charges.
Chiswick contributed over 70% of the revenues of the parking fund in the year to March 2002 with over £2 million coming from the area. Despite the reduction in the charge this total looks set to be increased as new CPZ schemes come into operation. The view that Hounslow Council is very willing to take money out of the W4 area but very reluctant to put it back in is widespread amongst local residents. It was revealed on this site earlier in the year that the Council spends half as much per mile on repairing and maintaining Chiswick's roads as it does elsewhere in the borough.
Previously the higher permit charge had been justified on the basis that Chiswick had superior transport links but data from Transport for London suggested this was not the case. Cllr. Cadbury, who prepared the original report, has admitted that differential charges are unjustified and local Labour party policy now recommends standardisation but it would appear that this is both fiscally and politically impossible to implement.
Cllr Cadbury told the Brentford Chiswick and Isleworth Times, "It wouldn't be right to put other permits up at this time. We still have to balance income and expenditure. We will have to review it again next year."
The Executive will be considering this proposal on Tuesday 7th October. The proposal also include extending the minimum parking meter time to two hours and further consideration of towing vehicles away that are illegally parked.
Other Key Recommendations
October 3, 2003