Parking costs in some parts of Wimbledon are to rise to £4.50 an hour
Parking charges in some parts of Merton – including Wimbledon – are to rise after a controversial decision by the borough council.
The council says it has taken the action to improve air quality and encourage more active and healthier lifestyles in the borough by encouraging people to make more journeys by bike and on foot.
It has agreed to introduce a new parking charges system which will apply to controlled parking zones, public car parks, on street parking and parking permits in Merton, which has been designated as an air quality management area.
It is giving the biggest increases to places with best access to public transport, so Wimbledon town centre will see the highest charges going up to £4.50 an hour in some areas.
Permits in Wimbledon will increase from £65 to £150 annually, while in areas where public transport is not as good, permits will go up by £5 to £70.
The proposals received some criticism from residents in the affected areas and around 3,000 people responded to a consultation exercise. As a result of the consultation, the council did change the boundaries of some of the affected areas.
The council also says it has already introduced a variety of walking and cycling initiatives, including six kilometres of new cycle routes and 651 more cycle parking spaces over the last six years. So far, 101 electric vehicle charging points have been installed across the borough, with an additional 36 planned by the end of the year.
However, currently in Merton, 42% of journeys are made by car, compared to 30% on foot, 3% by bike and 24% on public transport. The council wants to reduce the number of journeys made by car.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and the Environment, Councillor Tobin Byers said: “The council recognises its role to improve air quality by reducing demand for parking and cutting congestion by driving down car use. We also want to improve public health by making the healthy choice the easy choice - encouraging residents to make more journeys on foot or bike, rather than by car.”
He added: “Encouraging people to travel more sustainably is just one of a number of actions the council is taking to address air quality across the borough. Our Air Quality Action Plan – adopted in 2018 – included some 70 recommendations, and progress is being made on them all. We are committed to improving the quality or the air we breathe across the borough, and our new parking charges structure is just one element of that.”
The new parking charges are set to come into force during the autumn.
Income from parking charges can only be spent on running the parking service and transport projects, including filling in potholes, resurfacing borough roads and new cycling schemes. It also goes towards the Freedom Pass - London’s concessionary travel scheme. Merton has spent around £27million on the Freedom Pass during the last three years.
July 19, 2019