Brent residents have just over one week left to object to Labour’s proposals to make life more costly and difficult for many people who use residents’ parking permits, visitor parking permits and council-owned car parks.
Brent Council is formally consulting on proposals to make it more difficult to pay by cash (and cheque) for parking permits and off-street car park tickets. Like many of Labour’s policies, the changes will advantage the affluent and hit hardest those on low incomes, the elderly and those without easy access to the Internet.
Further changes approved by Labour members of the Brent Council Executive last month mean that the cost of parking in Brent Council car parks will rise dramatically for many motorists:
||New charge (for cash payments)
At the same meeting Labour councillors voted to increase cash prices for shoppers parking in local high streets by up to 83%:
||New charge (for cash payments)
The increases will hit those who want to stop for a short time to do some shopping much harder than commuters who pay to stay all day. Drivers who want to avoid the increases will need to register some of their personal and financial details with the council’s contractor in order to pay via their phone.
The changes will also affect resident permit holders, who will in future need to pay for a two-year permit in advance in order to get the best deal. Lower earning residents who can’t afford to pay hundreds of pounds up front will be penalised and made to pay a surcharge for buying a permit valid for 1 month, 3 months or 6 months.
Those who live in CPZs and buy visitor permits to allow relatives and friends to call-in during the day are also hit. Labour wants to force the vast majority of people into buying visitor passes online. The new passes will expire after just four hours instead of all day. Labour’s plans require the council to collect and store details of every visitor’s vehicle as part of a big database.
Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Daniel Brown said:
In opposition Labour campaigned as the friend of the motorist. In power we have seen their real colours.
Labour has hiked parking charges, introduced new charges where parking was free, made life more difficult for shoppers and visitors, and now plans to leave those without internet access or who can’t afford to pay large lump sums out in the cold.
These changes come on top of the big increases in parking charges that Labour imposed previously, when some residents saw the cost of their parking permits triple.
The effects of the changes covered by the public notice currently being consulted on are that:
(a) all Controlled Parking Zone and off-street car park resident, business or household visitor’s permits would be applied for either online or over the telephone, with an option to pay by cash at an authorised retail outlet;
(b) all Controlled Parking Zones visitor’s permits (scratchcards) would be paperless electronic permits which would be applied for either online or over the telephone with the provision that previously issued paper permits would be accepted until 31.10.13;
(c) minor drafting amendments were made to update the Orders.
Residents who wish to make comments or object should do so in writing of their to The Head of Transportation, Highway and Transport Delivery, 2nd Floor (west), Brent House, 349 – 357 High Road, Wembley, HA9 6BZ quoting the reference TO/12/182/EAM by Thursday 1 November. The full documents should be available for inspection at Brent Town Hall and Brent House.
There will be future public notices covering other aspects of the Executive’s decisions.
The relevant Executive reports can be read at Cashless parking and Parking services simplification and pricing.