Council destroying High Streets while increasing residents parking profits

Data published today by independent charity the RAC Foundation has revealed that Greenwich Council has again increased its parking profits paid by residents this year.

 

For the last three years parking charges and the cost of permits have more than doubled or trebled, and in some places charges in Eltham have gone up by 280%.  In that time the council's profits from parking have soared by over 90%.

 

Conservative councillors have repeatedly called on the Labour administration to lower parking charges and permit costs - presenting hard evidence that the increased charges seem to be putting off residents using the borough's town centres. 

 

In response Labour councillors have now said that further rises in parking charges and permit costs could continue with the publication of a new Parking Strategy.  

 

This seems to have been confirmed as in recent weeks Eltham residents have  received a 'Parking Attitudes Survey' to gauge their opinion on a new Eltham 'super CPZ' - which could potentially draw in thousands more households into permanently paying parking charges.

Cllr Adam Thomas said: "This is yet another example of how the council treats residents like cash cows.  Residents’ parking permits seem set at a rate that will simply increase the revenue flowing into Council coffers and we know that as Labour has increased its charges, so has it increased its profits."

 

"Ironically where Labour’s policy is clearly backfiring is in our car parks and around our high streets.  We did warn that raising car parking charges would damage business but Labour denied this.  Here is the proof of how wrong they are and the open admission that the creation of a large free car park in Woolwich is dragging consumers from other areas to that shopping centre."

 

 

Notes for readers

 

The RAC Foundation data can be accessed here: http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/parking_operations_revenue_outturn_for_all_english_councils_2011-12_data_table.pdf

 

Eltham Parking Attitudes Survey:

http://www.greenwichconservatives.com/news/1556

http://www.greenwichconservatives.com/news/1563

 

Eltham Parking charges – the reference is to the rise in cost of a permit for the Eltham Station CPZ, which was increased from £15 TO £57.

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/9018214.Cost_of_Greenwich_parking_permits_shoots_up/

 

Cllr Hyland refuses to cut parking charges

 

The full question asked by Cllr Adam Thomas on Wednesday 31 July, Full Council

 

Question from Councillor Adam Thomas to Councillor Denise Hyland, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills.

 

What steps is the council taking to review its own parking charges policies, following the High Court judgment against London Borough of Barnet regarding increases in parking permits and visitor vouchers for CPZs

 

Reply –

 

I thank Councillor Thomas for this question.

The High Court judgement against the Conservative controlled London Borough of Barnet confirmed that it is unlawful to increase charges for CPZ parking permits and visitor vouchers simply to raise income, even if that income is to be spent (as is the law) on transport related expenditure.

 

I cannot explain why Barnet chose to act illegally. However, the judgement does not affect Greenwich and as a result the Council has no need to review its policies in light of it.

 

Cllr Hyland fails to recognise that increased charges put people off coming to our high streets

 

Question from Councillor Alex Wilson, to Councillor Denise  Hyland, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills.  on Wednesday 18 December 2013

 

Thank you for the written response to my question to you during the  October 2013 Council meeting regarding Car Parking Income in which  you provided the total income for the Council’s car parks for each  month between April 2010 and August 2013.

 

An analysis of the figures provided indicates that in this current financial year the average monthly income has gone down from the two previous  years {2011-12 and 2012-13}.

 

Monthly Average

2010-11 £64,787.25

2011-12 £71,438.67

2012-13 £70,271.17

2013-14 £65,834.40

 

Given that the car parking prices were increased in order to try to generate additional revenue for the Council would the Cabinet Member  agree that;

 

First this has not be successful; and, secondly, that this Council policy  has encouraged people who wish to drive to go to a shopping or leisure  area to now go elsewhere making our local businesses suffer due to this  Council policy?

 

Reply

 

I thank Councillor Wilson for his question.

 

It is the case that car parking income in some areas has reduced in recent times, but this is not as a result of increased parking charges and there is no evidence that the current parking policy is encouraging  would be customers of local traders to go elsewhere.

 

The reason for this reduction is attributed to the recent increased parking space capacity in Woolwich Town Centre, which has meant less reliance on the Council’s own car parks. However, this increased parking capacity has meant customers can continue to conveniently  access the town centre through a range of travel modes, and shop locally.

 

The same level of reductions as those seen in Woolwich have not occurred in any other parts of the borough.