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Visitor parking charges in Brent will TREBLE despite residents opposing the increase

PUBLISHED: 09:40 10 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:40 10 November 2016

Cllr Eleanor Southwood is the lead environment councillor at Brent Council

Cllr Eleanor Southwood is the lead environment councillor at Brent Council

Archant

Brent Council has been slammed for ignoring the results of a public consultation and hiking the cost of visitor parking by 200 per cent.

Last week the town hall approved plans to treble the cost from £1.50 to £4.50 per day despite a public consultation that showed 68pc of residents opposed the proposals.

The cost of an annual visitor permit will also rise by 50pc from £110 to £165.

The huge price rises are predicted to almost double the council’s annual income from visitors’ parking from £676,679 to £1.3million.

Fiona Mulaisho, chairwoman of Kensal Rise Residents Association, told the Times the view of locals fell on “deaf ears” in the council.

She said: “To put matters into context, a resident with 30 full day visitors a year will in future pay £135 for visitors rather than the current £45.

“Both Kensal Rise Residents Association (KRRA) and Queens Park Area Residents Association (QPARA) lodged strong objections to the parking consultation itself and proposals contained therein.

“But, these objections along with others received from residents across the borough fell on the council’s deaf ears.”

“It is residents on lower incomes who will feel this pressure enormously as will the elderly and infirm who rely on visitors to help them cope with daily living.”

Julia Zemour, a resident in Brent, said: “This is extortionate how can they justify this increase? It affects everybody – my visitors, workmen, anybody visiting me is going to cost £4.50.

“Maybe we should all revolt and refuse to pay. What are they going to do if everyone does this?”

Angela Hennessey, a housebound resident in Willesden, said: “We do not have a parking problem, this is just sheer money making.

“We have to pay the parking fees of workmen eg washing machine engineers etc on top of the charge.

“I’m reluctant to invite a few friends around for a visit or get together as it’s embarrassing to ask them to pay, but I am of very limited means and it’s difficult.

“The whole thing is a disgrace and basically, nothing more than brazen money-grabbing.”

Paul Lorber, ex council leader and spokesman for the Brent Lib Dems, added: “The decision to treble the parking permit charge is a clear theft of local residents’ money.

“Controlled Parking Zones were created to protect residents living near stations and busy shopping areas and not to make money out of them.

“These massive increases are a clear attempt by the council to rip off our residents.”

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, the lead environment councillor at Brent Council, told the Times the price increases were to encourage visitors to use public transport.

She said: “In Brent, we have 33,000 parking spaces and 56,000 homes in our Controlled Parking Zones. This inevitably means that our parking provision is under a lot of pressure.

“As a council, we use pricing to regulate demand and encourage visitors to consider using our public transport networks wherever possible.

“Residents have told us that they want cleaner air and less traffic congestion in Brent – these measures are part of the council’s broader strategy to help address those concerns.

“By raising parking charges to the same level as neighbouring boroughs, we can start to reduce the number of cars on our roads, increase the number of journeys made by public transport and improve the quality of the air we breathe.

“The changes to parking pricing will be implemented later this month, ensuring that we have time to inform all residents about the changes.”

What do you think about the council’s decision to increase parking charges?

Do you think it is fair?

Email the news team at lorraine.king@archant.co.uk or send a tweet to @bktimes.


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