Westminster ends free parking – others should do the same!

In the UK, Westminster City Council has announced that free parking is to be abolished in the district, preventing around 1,200 cars from parking without charge. According to the Fitzrovia News site, the move has been welcomed by residents who complain about cars blocking streets and circulating looking for free parking spaces.

But it has also been met with significant resistance from the motoring lobby and its supporters as well as politicians who have jumped on the case.

Westminster’s Labour councillors are opposing the parking changes because of the “huge damage that this will do to the West End economy, including the loss of over 5,000 jobs”. We love Fitzrovia News’s response: “If all these jobs rely on the workers having to drive in their own cars to park for free in the middle of London, then these jobs are not sustainable. Why aren’t employers introducing environmentally-friendly and sustainable working practices?”

Central London is served by a huge amount of public transport and it’s at the heart of the UK’s rail network. It is the most well-connected city in the UK and has a comprehensive night bus network, giving it a huge competitive advantage over other cities.

Fitzrovia goes on to suggest that if businesses fear their employees would no longer be able to afford to work in central London, then they should pay them a living wage. If politicians fear that people will suffer because of public safety concerns or the inadequacies of public transport, then it is those issues they should be addressing and not opposing measures to control traffic.

Penned by a resident in the local area fed up by the congestion, it’s a well-researched piece that supports the reduction in private car use in a heavily urbanised city; we recommend that our readers (planners in particular) read more on the Fitzrovia News site here.

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