Westminster weekend/evening parking charges go live

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.

6 thoughts on “Westminster weekend/evening parking charges go live

  1. I would certainly support better Sunday services on buses, trains and tubes, and Sunday engineering works can make getting around more difficult than it ought to be. I am surprised that church volunteers will find it hard getting into town without a car though; trains and tubes start up at around 7am on a Sunday, and the buses run earlier than that of course.

  2. In my part of town the earliest train I can catch on a Sunday morning is around 7.10, which just about squeezes me in for an 8am start on a good day. If engineering works are on the line, I’m stuffed.

    The earliest tube I’ve ever been able to get anywhere in South London has been at a similar time, getting me in between 8 and 8.30. My nearest tube station is a 30-min walk away, accessible by buses that often don’t turn up. Many of my volunteers live further afield, or live in areas where engineering works and late-starting of the DLR all but rule out an 8.30 start in Central London, or a finish any later than 9pm.

    I’ve updated the article to flesh it out a little, and cover the fact that buses simply don’t offer me a practical, reliable, sane and safe mode of transport at these times, and I hardly live in the sticks! Last time I did the journey by bus I left 1 hour earlier than normal and arrived 30mins later – 2.5 hours from Greenwich to Oxford Circus!

  3. I agree that a bit joined up thinking would be nice, with the imposition of parking charges on Sunday being balanced by improved public transport services. I think we know that’s unlikely to happen though.

    It’s interesting that the charges are only for Sunday afternoon, not the morning. Perhaps they had churchgoers in mind when they decided that.

    Personally speaking, I’ve already given up trying to drive into London on a Saturday or Sunday. I find the quantity of traffic alarming, and the amount of road space given over to parked cars makes matters even worse for drivers, bus users and cyclists. I am actually hoping that bringing in parking charges may make central London a more pleasant place to be on a Sunday.

  4. They must think we’re mugs if they say this is about traffic management, I think this is to plug the financial black hole caused by the idiot at Westminster Council who invested £17,000,000.00 of taxpayers money in to the icelandic banks. Why not name and shame him, and the councillors who enjoy free borough wide parking permits for no apparent reason other than they work there? They think this is a safe bet because those parking free in the borough are not local voters, but I for one drive a car full of people in to the West End regularly to restaurants/theatres/shops and live in Wandsworth. The conservatives in Wandsworth (or Boris for that matter) will not get my vote again if this goes through, just a ridiculous extension of labours war on motorists. I will just drive the other direction in to the villages of Surrey and Kent on a Saturday night, so their businesses will flourish. NO WAY will I pay a further £25.00 to park up of an evening to go out! Want my vote Boris? Stop this…

  5. I have been visiting the West End for the best of the last 30 years. I live in Hertfordshire. I see the parking being squeeze into extinction for diners, theatre goers, shoppers, visiting tourists, etc.
    London will be infamous, notorius for high charges for anyone who uses the car for the length of thier holiday.
    There are so many pros and cons for traffic decongesting but, have the councillors thought about safety esp for the female visitors to London without a car? Or the shopper who can only buy as much as he can carry, a bus and train system that is expensive and that does not meet the needs of the travellers to London? Like Dave (August 2, 2011) said. it doesnt affect the councillors whose business is to go to work and is exempt from these charges? Just like in the novel Animal Farm; some animals are more equal than others. We already know the answers.
    These charges for weekend and weekday (midnight parking)creates resentment and revulsion for those who live in and around London. Would anyone boycott the place? No need to. They are just pricing everyone out of the area. And still, those who made the decision to charge for weekend Parking, etc will still be in a job (and collect a bonus for work well done?) Same analogy as the bankers who failed us and the country yet, is still collecting large bonuses. I rest my case.

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