So Westminster is to start charging people to park between 13:00 and 18:00 on Sundays, while extending midweek parking charges to midnight on weekday evenings. Hourly rates are said to be between £2.20 and £4.40. (source: BBC News article)
This will put a serious dent in the wallets of anyone wanting to drive to volunteer at our church. A further consequency might be that parking on single-yellow lines (as many people have done for Sunday church services for years) will now be enforced as well as the charging in proper bays.
Yes, it might help ease traffic flow a little, but on the flip-side it will certainly hinder volunteers coming in to set up before public transport services start up on Sunday mornings. It will also make life unnecessarily difficult for the infirm, elderly and disabled people wanting to come to church or to shop in Westminster. I’m sure this will also be a further hinderance to those of us visiting family or friends.
I myself don’t own a car, but I’m not looking forward to the next weekend trip with a hire car where I need to run an errand at church before driving on to meet family elsewhere in the country. Still. I’m just an individual working human, therefore a cash-cow for local government, it seems.
So: If we’re going to strangle car parking in the area, can we at least see Mayor of London and TfL provide tubes/trains an hour or two earlier AND an hour or two later to encourage more people to take public transport? For the earliest Sunday starts I encounter, buses simply don’t cut it from anywhere outside Zone 2 – they’re too unreliable, too tiring, take too long and often leave me travelsick – hardly a great start to a working day.