Council votes through controversial plans in effort to cut pollution
Parking costs in Wimbledon are to increase by up to 130% after Merton Council confirmed its controversial decision to increase charges.
The price hike, which has been described as discriminatory, would see parking in Wimbledon going up from £1.20 to £4.50 in some areas and permits increasing from £65 up to £150.
But the original decision was ‘called-in’ after a special meeting of the council’s overview and scrutiny commission for ‘the failure to follow the council’s set equality assessment process’.
As part of the plan ‘equalities groups’ including people with disabilities and pregnant women have since been consulted about the plans, and at a meeting on Tuesday (September 12), the plan was given the go-ahead.
The new parking charges would see an increase in both hourly parking rates and residents parking permits. Some had argued that it will affect the elderly and most vulnerable.
But Merton Council says it will increase air quality in the borough by encouraging more people to walk and take public transport.
And the council says parking in Wimbledon would be more expensive than other parts of the borough as it is well connected with public transport.
Councillor Martin Whelton, Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, said: “Over the last month we have carried out further consultation with groups and organisations impacted by the changes in response to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission, we have redoubled our efforts to engage with them and a number of responses were reported to cabinet for their consideration.
“The council has a responsibility to improve air quality and promote active and healthier lifestyles by supporting people to reduce their car use. Parking charges are just one aspect of our Air Quality Action Plan which is set to deliver huge benefits for public health while reducing air pollution.”
September 12, 2019