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Hannah Parry
Hannah Parry
  • 1 Minute Read
  • 23rd January 2012

Westminster Council scrap new parking regulations

Westminster-Council-abandons-parking-changes_thumbMuch outrage has been caused since Westminster Council announced their plans to charge for Sunday and evening parking in order to “increase the turnover of cars parking in the area and make it easier for those driving in to the heart of London to find a parking space”. Petitions were formed as a result of these plans, and many people feared the lack of parking would have a negative impact on business leading to a possible loss of jobs for those renting office space in London.

However, last week came the announcement that Westminster were to abandon all plans due to prolonged protests – an announcement which has been met with both relief and controversy from the public at large.

The proposed plans caused many people to express the inconvenience they would be caused, some even going so far as to threaten that they would have to look for alternative City of London office space if the restrictions came into play. Despite the relief that these people feel, there also comes with it a certain amount of frustration that Westminster Council has spent approximately £1m on the preparation before abandoning the project altogether.

Westminster Council has disputed allegations from Westminster Labour that £1m was spent on a combination of legal fees, consultants, the salaries of those working on the project and the cost of public consultations. Signs for the new proposals were also produced at a cost of several hundred thousand pounds.

So while many London office workers and residents are pleased that the changes will no longer be implicated, the question has been raised as to why it has taken so long for Westminster Council to take notice of the protests. There is undoubtedly a general feeling of relief but people are also left wondering why Westminster Council have suddenly decided to act now, having ignored all previous objections.

With the economic climate as it is, a cost of £1m to UK taxpayers towards an abandoned project is not an ideal solution. Perhaps Westminster Council has learnt its lesson, having recently outlined its new intentions to ‘consider the most effective way that the council can support business, lessen congestion and improve the quality of life of residents living in the West End’.

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