Parking suspension rules in Westminster are set to undergo changes later this year.
From September, charges for blocking of a parking space will increase by 20% in some areas, as the council looks to reorganise the scheme to try to reduce applications on streets deemed ‘traffic sensitive’.
Bays can be suspended for a fee for a number of reasons, including removals and skip licenses. Concessionary charges for utility and broadband services will remain unchanged.
But officials recommended, in a report signed off by Paul Dimoldenberg the Cabinet member for City Management, that the system should reformed to charge more to traffic sensitive streets (TSSs), meaning that suspensions on some roads in outskirts areas such as Sutherland and Randolph Avenues in Maida Vale would face the largest increase in charges, from the previous standard charge to the new “TSS” charge.
Suspensions currently cost £51 (£55 for all streets in central areas such as Mayfair and Soho) and charges increase on a sliding scale depending on the number of days booked.
The changes will not take effect until September to allow time for the council’s new parking contractor to get started, the report says.
Other zones could see an increase of around 10.7% and is some cases, where the premium rate was previously charged, a decrease of 7.6% on non TSS streets.
The report added that the council ‘would look to operate certain concessions’ on the 854 TSS streets in the city, for example for bays suspended for domestic removal vans. It suggested that this could be achieved by simply charging the lower non TSS street rate.
Fees for parking suspension generate approximately £20 million a year for Westminster, although a sizeable percentage of this is drawn from large scale long term suspensions, for example from building projects.
Last year a total of 32,710 applications were received, along with 312 requests for skip licences. Council figures also showed that pre-Covid, around 65% of parking suspensions were on streets designated ‘traffic sensitive’.