Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We've Learned We Must Listen to London on Parking

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We've Learned We Must Listen to London on Parking

Article excerpt

Byline: Colin Barrow Leader of Westminster council

PARKING charges are never popular and we've learned over the past few months that we have to keep listening to public concerns and solve central London's congestion problem.

I pay tribute to the people of Westminster for their scrutiny on this issue and promise that we have heard loud and clear what the business leaders, residents and visitors have said.

We believe that new parking controls are necessary to control congestion in the West End but were concerned that the policy might interfere with preparations for the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. Given this, and the judicial decision to delay the scheme, we thought it was right to offer businesses certainty over the position, at least until the Games are over.

It is also right that the validity of our policies are tested in court. We are a council that abides by the law and we are confident that we will be successful at a judicial review. We welcome the opportunity to put forward our case.

The judge has already rejected 10 of the 12 grounds for judicial review submitted by the applicants and observed that we did not close our mind to the options, our use of a stress test was not unlawful, we applied the Road Traffic Acts properly, and we did not seek to implement the policy to raise money.

We could have sought an early judgment -- which might well have gone in our favour -- but we have taken the view that this would have prolonged the uncertainty for everyone.

So we now have a period to reflect and work to make a success of the massive opportunities London has to win friends and business in 2012. …

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