Permit Charge cut proposed for Chiswick

Hounslow Council parking report recommends reduction in the premium Chiswick pays for permits as well as a host of other major changes

A new report has recommended that parking permit charges be reduced in Chiswick. Fees are to be increased elsewhere lessening the controversial differential within the borough. The new annual charge would be £65 if the proposal was adapted. The revised charges would come into effect on 1st June of this year.

The reduction comes at a time when Hammersmith and Fulham Council are increasing their permit charges by 70% to £85.

The proposals, which have been put forward in a report prepared by Cllr. Ruth Cadbury, represent a softening of the borough's attitude towards Chiswick. Previously the area had been asked to pay up to twice the permit charge of other parts of the borough. This week it was also revealed on that Hounslow and Ealing Councils attempted to have Chiswick put in a higher band for parking violations. The attempt failed as the authorities claimed that the councils had offered insufficient evidence for their case that Chiswick should be singled out for higher fines.

The original rationale for higher permit charges was that Chiswick had superior transport links but when Transport for London data was published showing that Hounslow Town Centre had much better public transport provision the explanation was changed. Chiswick now had higher charges because it afforded quicker access to central London. Opposition politicians have claimed that the charges are determined more by political considerations than transport ones.

The standardisation of parking charges across the borough is unlikely in the short term due to financial reasons. Chiswick last year contributed over £2million in parking related fees which was over 60% of the borough total despite making up just 18% of the population. The increase in charges in other parts of the borough plus the introduction of new zones mean that it is likely that parking revenue will continue to rise.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • It is recommended that the Council introduce bus lane enforcement cameras on roads under their authority. At present only roads under the control of Transport for London have enforcement cameras which are activated.
  • Consideration is also to be given to a trial enforcement of school "Keep Clear" markings. Parents at Strand on the Green school in particular have been complaining about inadequate enforcement of these markings. Belmont and Grove Park schools may also be involved in the project
  • Unlike Ealing which is planning to introduce clamping to their borough, Hounslow will only be conducting further investigations into the feasibility of clamping
  • Consideration is to be given to the siting of a "Parking Shop" in Chiswick which would allow residents to renew their permits and pay their fines.
  • Funding is to be put in place to allow residents on the borders of new parking schemes to be reconsulted six months after introduction to see if they have suffered from displaced parking
  • On street parking charges in the Central Chiswick zone are to be increased to £1 an hour
  • The maximum stay at meters is to be increased from 1 to 2 hours
  • The views of the Chiswick Area Committee is to be sought on the introduction of Sunday parking restrictions
  • A request by Chiswick estate agents that they be given permits to cover every CPZ in the area was rejected

March 15, 2003

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