Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

West End Parking Charges Set to Spread; Camden Council Poised to Copy Westminster's 'Night-Life Tax'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

West End Parking Charges Set to Spread; Camden Council Poised to Copy Westminster's 'Night-Life Tax'

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Chief News Correspondent

PLANS to charge motorists to park in the evening and at weekends are set to spread across central London.

Camden council is poised to follow Westminster and impose night-time and Sunday charges to park on single yellow lines, the Standard can reveal.

Its transport boss refused to rule out the move, despite the furore that has met Westminster's proposal to introduce fees from January 9. Sue Vincent, Camden's cabinet member for transport, told councillors she believed the authority may have to follow Westminster to prevent parking chaos spilling over into its part of the West End - in Covent Garden and east of Tottenham Court Road.

She said: "I can't give any guarantees. I don't know yet what the impact is going to be in the south of the borough and the West End when Westminster starts its new policy.

"I cannot sit here and say I might do, or I definitely won't - when the impact could be very severe." A study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research last week warned that Westminster's "night-life tax" could deliver an [pounds sterling]800 million blow to the West End and threaten 5,100 jobs.

Camden, which took [pounds sterling]36 million in parking charges in 2010/11, has agreed to launch a consultation on doubling the amount of time drivers can spend at meters and is considering whether to follow Westminster and introduce motorbike parking fees.

The Labour-run council is also considering 24-hour residents-only zones in Holborn to prevent visitors using on-road spaces. Camden is opposed to Westminster's charges but opposition Tory councillor Don Williams said: "The lure of raising more revenue from parking, a favoured tool of Camden's Labour administration, seems too difficult to resist - especially when Camden can hide behind Westminster." Ms Vincent said it was necessary for Camden to consider its own charges to prevent jams. …

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