Labour’s policies hit our High Street shops

Greenwich Conservatives have uncovered for the first time, figures which show the impact that Labour’s continual rise in car parking charges is having on the number of people using Greenwich car parks.  The number has fallen steeply, down for example in Eltham, by  47% over the last two years. The Labour Party’s focus on Woolwich continues however, as it is the one part of the borough to have free parking in their new Tesco’s car park.

 

As the Labour Party gets set for yet another hike in charges this April, Conservative Councillors fear that the continual increases, is leading to a fall in the number of people using the local shops; further damaging the high streets.

 

Greenwich Council intends to raise parking charges in car parks across the borough by another 20 pence per hour; at least doubling the charges in the last two years. It will cost £2.70 an hour to park in Greenwich town Centre’s car parks, and £1 an hour in all the other high streets around the Borough.

 

Following research by Cllr Spencer Drury, Leader of Greenwich Conservative Councillors, it has been revealed for the first time that:

 

  • The number of hours consumers have paid for in the Orangery Lane Car Park in Eltham has dropped by 47% since the Council doubled charges from 40 pence to 80 pence per hour.
  • The number of paid for hours in car parks across Greenwich dropped by an average of 34% in the first year of the policies imposition. 

 

Council projections suggest that after two years of operation, the higher parking charges are expected to reduce the number of hours consumers pay to spend in Greenwich car parks by a total of 61% relative to the 2010 figure.

 

Cllr Drury said, “Labour’s continues to use motorists as an easy way to raise cash but this is not a sustainable long term strategy because of the cost to our high streets which could be irreversibly damaging.

 

“Conservative Councillors have pointed out the problems with the Council’s decision to raise charges in car parks from the very beginning; however, Labour seem incapable of changing course.  Despite the fact that their policies are clearly and deliberately driving shoppers away from Greenwich, Blackheath and Eltham, Labour are going ahead and raising charges still further. 

 

I have no doubt that this policy will encourage more people to visit out of town shopping centres like Bluewater.   I also note that the free parking in Woolwich means that Labour are once again prioritising this one part of the Borough over all others.  I know Woolwich needs regenerating, but it should not be at the expense of other areas like Greenwich, Blackheath and Eltham.”

 

Notes on this article:

  • The full figures for the changes in off street car parking (excluding permits) in Greenwich are:

 

Relevant Percentages

% change in revenue

% change in price

% reduction in hours paid for

Burney Street

18.26

92.31

-38.50

GreenwichParkRow

10.19

92.31

-42.70

Orangery Lane Car Park

6.00

100.00

-47.00

Old Dover Road Car Park

54.88

100.00

-22.56

Calderwood StreetCar Park

-2.59

60.00

-39.12

CuttySark Gardens

20.56

92.31

-37.31

Powis StreetCar Park

-12.93

60.00

-45.58

Monk StreetCar Park

67.07

60.00

4.42

Abery StreetCar Park

20.15

100.00

-39.93

 
  • A specific look at the charges for Greenwich Town Centre can be found at http://www.greenwich.co.uk/news/.
  • A recent National press release issued by the Labour, MP Hilary Benn  called upon Conservatives to stop raising parking charges excessively, stating: “We know that if parking charges are too high, people won’t visit their high street and small businesses will lose out on much-needed trade” Greenwich Conservatives note that Mr Benn has not made an attempt to stop Greenwich Labour Party damaging its own shopping centres. Local Conservatives hope Mr Benn will be good to his word and write to the Labour Council demanding that they reverse these damaging rises.  Hilary Benn’s comments can be found at  http://www.labour.org.uk/tory-councils-imposing-higher-parking-charges-than-labour,2013-01-04.