Changes to Islington parking permits - public meeting tomorrow
By LiseS | Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 12:38
Islington Council's new parking permit prices and conditions have been the source of furious discussion since they were announced close to Christmas, and a meeting to discuss the changes is being held tomorrow at St John's Upper Holloway C of E Primary School from 7pm.
Under the new "Roamer" scheme launching in February, all Islington resident parking permit holders will be able to park in any Controlled Parking Zone between 11am and 3pm, reducing the need for Visitor Vouchers and Pay and Display parking during daytime hours. At the same time, fees for parking permits purchased from 1 January this year have been brought into line with the DVLA's road tax bands, meaning vehicles with higher CO2 emissions will be charged substantially more this year.
Islington's parking permits were already charged according to emissions, but the new measures have increased the number of pricing bands to 13. Permit prices for cars in the very lowest emission bands (including electric vehicles and those that emit fewer than 110g/km) will decrease this year, but prices for vehicles in the highest bands will increase by up to 50% for a residents permit, and even more for a business permit.
The "Roamer" scheme came under fire from residents, with 254 local people complaining that the scheme would result in fewer parking spaces in owing to commuters parking in resident's bays during the day. 94 people further complained of "inadequate" consultation prior to the move. The council executive swiftly voted to change the "Roamer" hours to 11am-3pm instead of the earlier proposed 10am-2pm to avoid this potential problem, but many are still dissatisfied with the lack of consultation.
"Only Resident Permit holders are being notified of the consultation," says Lib Dem Councillor Arthur Graves. "Air quality, accidents, pollution, extra cars, all these issues affect all our residents and those who visit and work in the borough. Surely it's only right then that the consultation is at least open to anyone who either lives, owns a business or works in the borough?"
Cllr Graves has organised the public meeting tomorrow with Executive Member for the Environment Cllr Paul Smith, to give residents a chance to get answers about the new scheme. All are welcome. There's also an online petition at http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/parkingcharges.
Is the council right to penalise gas-guzzlers or will these new permit charges make owning a car untenable? Will the Roamer scheme turn local side streets into car parks for commuters or does it all make sense? Let us know what you think below!