Council Committee rejects permit charge cut

Central Hounslow Area Committee refuses to accept recommendations of a report that was proposing cut in Chiswick's "unjustified" charge

Hopes of a reduction in parking permit charges for Chiswick received a set-back when a council area committee rejected the proposal to change the level of fees. The Central Hounslow Area Committee accepted most of the recommendations in Cllr. Ruth Cadbury's report but flatly rejected changes to permit charges which would have resulted in a increase in the fees in the Central Hounslow area.

Permit charges are much lower in that part of the borough and it was proposed to increase them marginally whilst at the same time reducing the charge for Chiswick to bring them more into line. Even after last year's reduction, a Chiswick permit still costs twice as much as a Hounslow permit, and is £25 more than Ealing's permit in the same postcode area.

Cllr. Cadbury who is the executive member responsible for transport issues has recently admitted that the higher rate charged to Chiswick was unjustified. However she said it would be up to the area committees to decide whether the proposal is implemented. It is generally felt unlikely that any area committee apart from Chiswick would support this proposal.

The Central Hounslow Area Committee is made up of 9 Labour councillors and one Conservative. The minutes of the meeting gave no explanation for rejection of the report's proposal. Previously it had been claimed that Chiswick was charged more for permits because of superior public transport links but figures released by Transport for London show that in fact it is Hounslow Town that is best served by public transport.

As three members of the Central Hounslow Area Committee also sit on the Council Executive it is now felt that it is likely that the proposal to reduce charges for Chiswick will be turned down.

Chiswick contributes over £2mn a year in parking charges twice as much as the rest of the borough put together.

April 8, 2003

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