At the latest Merton Council meeting about the rise in parking charges, our CEO Helen Clark Bell spoke about the lack of evidence that this change to the parking fees will have on the air quality in the town. Whilst we are all agreed air quality needs to be improved and the council needs to do all it can, she highlighted the high proportion of through traffic and buses that will not be impacted by this proposal and therefore this policy will not have the desired impact on air quality that we are all seeking to achieve.
Helen went on to advise that there maybe unintended consequences on the town at this particularly sensitive time for retail and given that there was not sufficient evidence or targets in place, and that we can’t afford to experiment with the health and vibrancy of our high streets.
The changes cannot be introduced yet as the Overview and Scrutiny Commission decided that due process was not undertaken sufficiently, but it is expected Merton Council will be implementing the significant rise in parking charges in Wimbledon town centre in the autumn.
Within our written and verbal responses, we lobbied for an increase in 20 minute free bays and also a relaxing of the punitive evening operating hours within the council operated car parks. We have secured a £2 flat rate after 6pm in Queens Road and St George’s Road car parks to help support the evening economy.
Read more information on the Merton Council Parking Consultation.