Wednesday 7 July 2010

The government stands up for free car parking

Marvellous news.

Plans to introduce parking charges in Richmond and Bushy Royal Parks in west London are to be scrapped.

A planning application to install 26 pay and display parking meters in the two parks had attracted more than 230 objections since being submitted last month by The Royal Parks, which manages the two parks.

Under the plans drivers would have paid between 50p and £3 a day

The regular killing of cyclists in London attracts very little attention in the London media and on occasion is ignored altogether (the killing of Maria Fernandez was not reported by a single London or national news outlet, and the first time this fatality was reported as news was as an inquest report, many months later).

In sharp contrast, parking stories are big, big, big news for journalists. Violence against cyclists and pedestrians simply isn’t news, but a proposal to install 26 pay and display parking meters is an absolutely massive story.

Local politicians are over the moon that the government has scrapped this proposal.

Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith [the famous environmentalist. Ed] said

This is a triumph for park users

Richmond Councillor Clare Head said

"Making people pay to enjoy one of our beautiful natural open spaces is completely unfair and would have led to traffic chaos in roads around the park"

Wandsworth Council leader Edward Lister sobbed

“The lack of public transport into the park means that most people would have been left with no option but to drive.

Exactly. If you can’t get to your destination by bus or train, you are FORCED to use a car. I mean, I can’t think of any other way to travel around London, can you?


The BBC London News website originally illustrated this story with a lovely photograph of a group of cyclists pedalling through the park. This has now quite rightly been removed as entirely inappropriate to the story.