The current Labour administration has got the balance wrong between commuters and residents with its latest changes to Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) parking charges.
On the one hand Labour has put up all day visitorsâ€™ vouchers three times in three years. They were frozen at a Â£1 for four years under the Conservatives. Since 2010 they have gone up to Â£2.50, then to Â£3.50, and finally to an excruciating Â£4.50 a day to allow your visitors and tradesmen to park near your home in an all day CPZ. The Conservatives propose to cut this charge to Â£2.50 as soon as they are elected in May.
On the other hand Labour is rolling out a Â£2 a day charge for commuters in CPZs in Acton and Ealing, but notably not in Southall. CPZs are only ever introduced as a result large scale commuter or long term parking problems. They are put in near town centres and transport nodes to prevent commuting. Over the last couple of years Labour has allowed commuters to park near Willesden Junction station, near Ealing Town Centre and Northfield Tube station for only Â£2 a day and most recently it has allowed commuters to park by Ealing Cricket Club just near Ealing Broadway train station.
I reckon that Labourâ€™s Bassam Mahfouz has misjudged this badly. He has got his CPZ pricing wrong. Charging residentsâ€™ own visitors, most often their own family, more than twice as much as commuters to park in a CPZ is just plain wrong. The Councilâ€™s first priority should be accommodating the needs of residents over commuters.
The Conservatives will reduce the Â£4.50 visitorsâ€™ voucher to Â£2.50 as soon as we can after 22nd May. This change will cost very little as sales of these vouchers have slumped since their price went through the roof. We will sell many more cheaper vouchers and the cost of this change will be minimal.
The Â£4.50 charge applies to all day visitorsâ€™ vouchers in all day CPZs:
Zone A: Central Ealing
Zone B: Bedford Park
Zone C and D: University of West London
Zone DD: Bollo Bridge
Zone EE: Brentvale
Zone H: Home Zone
Zone K: Acton Central
Zone KK: The Vale
Zone L: Southall
Zone LL: Southall 5
Zone M: Acton Green
Zone MM1: The Drive
Zone R: Southfields (until it moves to two hours of operation)
Zone S: South Ealing
Zone T: The Vale
Zone T1: The Vale
Zone U: Green Man
Zone V: Southall 2
Zone X: Valetta Road
Full details of CPZs can be found here.