Westminster Council scraps controversial parking charges

PUBLISHED: 14:55 19 January 2012

The scheme would have seen people pay to park in the evening and on weekends

The scheme would have seen people pay to park in the evening and on weekends


Parking scheme is scrapped but opposition councillors claim it has already cost the council £1million

Westminster Council has scrapped its plans to introduce evening and weekend parking charges in parts of Marylebone and the West End.

The council’s u-turn, which was decided at a Westminster Conservative party meeting late last night (Wednesday), comes after a prolonged campaign from residents, businesses, councillors and politicians.

A High Court judge had already delayed the charges when he ruled they should not be implemented until after a judicial review.

Last weekend council leader Cllr Colin Barrow announced his resignation but said “I am not standing down because of parking at all”.

But speaking last night he said he felt the need to “act swiftly” rather than pass the issue over to his successor.

“We have listened to Londoners in the interests of the wider economy and will scrap the charging plans,” he said.

“We need to think long and hard about how we manage traffic in the West End to allow people to go about their business, but it’s clear that these specific proposals did not command public support.”

Parking boss Cllr Lee Rowley confirmed the council will now “reset our parking policies to focus on common sense measures that are fair but encourage people to keep to the rules”.

The news was welcomed by business representatives, church leaders and opposition councillors.

Cities of London and Westminster MP Mark Field said: “This is a very positive move from Westminster.

“The council has listened hard at a difficult time and the message should go out loud and clear that the West End is open for business.”

However, Westminster Labour leader Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg says the failed parking scheme has cost the council £1million including £300,000 spent on street signs, hundreds of thousands of pounds on its consultation, and thousands on legal costs.

“It is unbelievable that the council took so long to listen to the overwhelming opposition to the charges and admit that they got it so very badly wrong,” he said.

“The council’s arrogance and belief that it could do just as it pleases has finally been exposed and defeated.”

But council chiefs dispute the figure and insist the cost of the failed charges is around £250,000.

Cllr Rowley said: “Westminster has spent approximately £600,000 on commissioning and implementing its parking policy review, but around only a third of that relates to the withdrawn changes to hours of control in the West End.”

He added: “Many aspects of this project are recyclable and so it could be that the true cost is even less that.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now