Parking Charges To Increase In Chiswick

Move to cashless parking and higher hourly rates to come into force

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Hounslow Council is planning a major shake up of parking which result parking charges increasing by 20% in the near future. In addition they intend to phasing out all Pay & Display machines on-street and in Council car parks and move to cashless parking.

Other changes proposed include phasing out the parking increment of three minutes and pushing this to a half-hour period rising from the current £1 to £1.20. The changes are set to be introduced almost immediately.

It is not yet known how this will affect the half-hour 'stop and shop' free period in some Chiswick streets which local councillors have campaigned for on behalf of traders.

The Council is under pressure to increase revenue as it anticipates a drop in income from planned car park closures across the borough.
In a move that it says will lead to more consistent charging, the Council proposes the introduction of a new ½ hour tariff of £1.00 for car parks and £1.20 for on-street parking, with subsequent time being available in one hour increments.

The changes could come into effect in early August, if approved next week as a cabinet single member decision by Cllr Sue Sampson, Cabinet member for Community Protection.
A report recommending the changes says that theft from Pay & Display machines has increased and removing them will also remove costs for repairs, maintenance and cash collections. This could benefit the Highways and Parking services by around £500,000 for financial year 2016/17. However, there will be redundancy payouts to staff who work in this area.

The new charge of £2.40 an hour of on street parking compares to £3 in Richmond with fifteen minute increments; £2.80 in Hammersmith & Fulham and £2.40 in Ealing.
The report does highlight the potential risk of a sole reliance on the RingGo system with no contigency in place if it ceases to operate. Also there was concern about the possibility of fraud, concerns were raised about fraudsters placing bogus contact numbers on signs to get users' card details.

Changes to legislation from April 2015 meant that CCTV could no longer be used to enforce parking restrictions such as parking in loading bays and during a waiting/loading restrictions. This has lead to a 20% drop in revenue from this source as over 4,000 of these types of PCN were enforced by PCN during the year.

The Council is also believed to be looking to press ahead with Sunday parking restrictions to compensate for this loss of revenue.

Chiswick is a lucrative source of revenue in terms of parking fines. Chiswick High Road is the only street in the country on which fines for parking and bus lane violations top one million pounds.

July 23, 2016

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