Tory run Westminster council in London which is the country’s largest parking authority is stepping up its assault on the motorist.
The council is desparate for money and last year an internal report passed to us states that officers in the parking department were asked to go away and find ways of cutting costs and raising additional revenue.
Soon afterwards the council came out with a plan to charge until midnight and the consultation on this is ongoing. They were also considering doubling parking charges for “harmonisation” purposes. Recently they have made many hundreds of staff redundant and cut at least £2m from their social services budget. They are even thinking of turning off their streetlights to save money. However at the same time they have spent £1.95m in putting yet another 50 traffic wardens on their streets. They already had 291 and 138 hidden parking cameras. They were concerned that they would lose revenue and needed to get the ticket numbers up says another internal report. This is unbelievable. How can parking enforcement be more important than social services and lighting the streets in central London? To use parking enforcement and charges to raise revenue is illegal. Now they are set to unleash their latest weapon. Anpr and cctv equipped cars, mopeds and bicycles. The cars will cause gridlock by travelling at just 6 mph. Isn’t parking enforcement meant to be about easing congestion and not increasing it?
Norman Baker the transport minister has told us that he
…will not intervene even if local authorities break the law!
What kind of country are we living in?