Parking permits and parking fees in Greenwich borough are set to rise by seven percent which the authority are attributing to inflation.
Which is odd, as inflation measured by the ONS is rather less at 0.7 per cent using the CPI measure.
Now, whether you agree with the rise or not, putting out a line so far apart from reality is bound to get people’s backs up. They could be more honest and say this is for, say, environmental reasons, or to say we want the income for X, Y or Z. To give out the inflation line does little for trust.
The get-out appears to be that increases did not occur the previous year, though when stating “due to inflation” people will naturally associate costs with the current year.
Where money is going?
Greenwich do state that “any surplus that’s raised from the increase will contribute to subsidising Freedom Passes for our older and disabled residents so they can travel on public transport for free”.
With increased income from new CCTV enforcement alone due to bring in £37 million according to the authority, if we then add these car park and permit increases that’s a large sum that’s inbound to the authority. It’s unlikely it will all be heading to fund free passes so some transparency would be welcome on what is planned. If I’ve read this correctly (and feel free to comment with info below if not) then the annual contribution from Greenwich towards the scheme was £9,586,415.00 last year with a projected reduction this financial year as contributions are based on the previous two year’s average cost – and last year’s reduction in usage saw a fall.
If that £9.6 million cost to the authority that’s payable to TfL is accurate, income from annual parking and CCTV enforcement from 40 cameras is in excess of that total. New CCTV cameras alone are due to bring in over £10 million a year when all are operating – though slightly lower this year. That’s in addition to parking permits, parking fees and previous 20 CCTV cameras for moving traffic violations installed last year. With that in mind, where are additional permit and parking costs going alongside CCTV income as together they appear to surpass spending on Freedom Passes.
As this income is ringfenced to transport spending by law, a little openness on spending plans are needed.
It could do much good, but Greenwich are so far resolutely silent on plans. We know they make a mess of much street design, so a little openness before potentially wasting money on ever more clutter and poor design would be appreciated.
After all, this is the authority that wasn’t able to fine drivers that had parked illegally for years as they ignored government guidance in 2014 of upcoming legal changes, then the actual law change in 2016.
The authority has also announced that from 24th May renewing or applying for a new permit in a controlled parking zone (CPZ) will need to switch to online.