It’s taken at least a decade and led to a loss of around £12 million since 2010 but Greenwich Council are finally within sight of meeting budget targets for parking income.
New figures before the council’s cabinet next week show the lowest gap between income and budget expectations with a £0.6 million shortfall this year.
For many, many years budgets have been missed and a cut and paste response given as an excuse to Greenwich Council’s cabinet.
Finally, after numerous complaints from residents and over 100 bus drivers becoming fed up and threatening to not stop in certain areas, more wardens were hired. Immediately we saw areas with endemic poor parking begin to be addressed.
Many areas are still not being covered, and the increase in staffing will just about keep on top of patrolling new parking zones. It does not permit a great deal of time to patrol persistent problems in some town centres and along major routes.
Given cuts from central government it was odd the authority did not address problems long ago. Increased income can go towards improving streets and the public realm. Failure to do so led to zero top-ups from the authority towards annual cash from TfL for public spaces and streets through the local Implementation Plan fund. Many London authorities allocate millions each year. It’s a whopping £20 million in Hammersmith & Fulham.
Issues such as Angerstein roundabout and the mass of awful roads in east Greenwich could have been addressed long ago.
Next up is the use of cameras to monitor those who park outside schools, in bus lanes and ignore road signs such as no right turns (there’s a notorious spot near Woolwich Lidl for where drivers turn right onto pedestrians crossing on a green light).
It’s another area that has taken the council an age to implement, with Greenwich just one of three authorities out of 34 in London (all councils plus TfL and the City) to not use the power since it was granted in 2004. After more delays it will go live in coming months.
One big gap in improving revenue is enforcement on estates and certain shopping parades.
It’s been outsourced to a private company named Wing Parking in a deal which sees no fine income received by the company sent to the council. It was renewed in 2018.