Parking Charges Mean Chiswick Residents "more taxed than any other Londoners and possibly pay the highest level of local tax in the country"

The issue of parking charges looks set to be the topic of lively debate as figures released by the Council show that Chiswick is paying over £2 million a year in parking charges. The figures will be seized on by those arguing that Chiswick is a "cash-cow" for the rest of the borough.

One local resident claimed that the numbers meant that Chiswick residents paid more tax than any other residents in London, "the parking charges represent over £100 extra per Chiswick household which you should add to the Council Tax. This means that Chiswick residents are more taxed than any other Londoners and possibly pay the highest level of local tax in the country."


The total revenue received by the Council from parking is £3.3 million with over two thirds of that coming from Chiswick. Taking the total from CPZ schemes in the borough then Chiswick accounts for more than 75% of the revenue. As many of the schemes in other parts of the borough are smaller and more dispersed the likelihood is that the Chiswick schemes are much more profitable suggesting that over 80% of the parking surplus comes from this area.

The figures are bound to renew controversy over differential parking charges. Chiswick pays double the rate that applies in the west of the borough and many see this as politically motivated with only one member of the ruling Labour group representing a Chiswick ward affected by parking charges. The rationale for the differential pricing is the "generally better" transport links and the high level of demand for parking permits. This seems difficult to justify given the current state of transport in the Chiswick area compared to Hounslow Town which has the lowest charge. Twice as many mainline trains serve Hounslow station and it is served by the Piccadilly line which has a time-tabled peak service operation of a train every five minutes as opposed to every 8 minutes for the District line at Turnham Green (and 12 minutes for Chiswick Park and Gunnersbury).

Each year a budget is set for the amount of surplus from parking which is to be used for Highways Maintenance. If the actual surplus is greater than this then the extra money is transferred to th Parking Reserve Account at the end of the year.

The use of the funds is also bound to stoke controversy. For the current financial year £1.2 million is to go to general highway improvement. There is some scepticism that Chiswick gets its fair share of this and many road schemes that local people are lobbying for remain unfunded. Road crossings at Cavendish School and Sutton Court Road enjoy massive local support but no money has yet been allocated for their implementation.

A further £465,000 surplus from parking is allocated to the Parking Reserve Account which is distributed at the discretion of the Committee of the Council with none of this money being allocated to Chiswick specific projects. Much of it goes towards paying for concessionary bus passes but this year £60,000 has been given to consultants to investigate the possibility of a tram link and money has also gone towards CCTV projects, obviously not in Chiswick.

The Council have said that the tram link plan will aim to link Chiswick to Heathrow but many people feel that it is highly unlikely that trams could run this far east and that the Council is only mentioning Chiswick in the context of this project to justify using mainly Chiswick sourced revenue for the study which will inevitably recommend a terminus well short of this area.

There are also likely to be some misgivings about the Council's refusal to fund the implementation of new local parking schemes such as the West Chiswick CPZ out of existing parking surpluses. They are planning to use Section 106 monies (funds paid by developers as part of the condition of getting planning consent) to pay for future Chiswick schemes. Some money from the development of Chiswick Park is likely to be used this way but many claim these funds, which were originally supposed to build a new tube station in the area, should not be used on something which is essentially a revenue raising project which will result in more pressure on an already stretched public transport system.

A full report of CPZ revenue is to he present to a joint meeting of the planning and monitoring committees at 7.30pm on Tuesday 26th February at 7.30pm at the Catholic Centre on Dukes Avenue. The public are welcome to attend.

Parking to be focus of special meeting - 26th February

Detailed Report to be considered at the meeting

Parking Permits in Chiswick