Parking costs set to rise by up to 210% nearer public transport
Parking charges are to be increased in Merton – especially in parts of the borough which are well connected by public transport, which will include Wimbledon.
Merton Council says the decision to revise parking prices across the borough has been made to help it reduce air pollution and improve public health by supporting people to make fewer journeys by car.
It is understood the Wimbledon town centre prices will increase to £4.50 an hour from the current £1.20-£2.40 an hour. This could mean a rise of 210% in some parts of the town.
In Wimbledon Village, Wimbledon Park, South Wimbledon, Raynes Park and Colliers Wood, it is set to cost £3 an hour.
The whole borough has been designated as an air quality management area, which the council says means more must be done to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide. Nearly two thirds of this main pollutant is emitted from vehicles and pollution levels are highest in town centres across the borough.
Merton Council’s Cabinet has agreed to propose a new charging system for on street parking, car park tickets and residents’ permits. It says the revised parking charges will level out historic discrepancies and be set according to access to public transport – drivers will pay more to park in areas where there are good public transport links than in places which are not so well connected.
Cabinet member Martin Whelton is pictured below at one of the borough's electric car parking points.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Councillor Tobin Byers, said: “We want to encourage more people to lead healthier lives and to reduce air pollution, particularly in the most congested parts of the borough. Parking services have a vital role to play in tackling air pollution by supporting people to increase the number of journeys they make on foot, by bike or using public transport, rather than driving.
“We have already introduced a variety of walking and cycling initiatives, car clubs, electric vehicle changing points and the diesel levy to take more of the most polluting vehicles off the road.
“However, it is clear that we need to do more to reduce these harmful emissions by discouraging drivers from using their cars in congested parts of the borough which are well served by public transport. Parking charges have been frozen for a number of years and there is now a need to revise them in order to drive down car use and improve air quality in our borough.”
It is intended that the new parking charges will come into force no earlier than April 2019.
December 17, 2018