Barnet Council have finally agreed to pay the £155,000 costs of the legal action brought by David Attfield and his supporters against proposed new parking charges. The council lost the Judicial Review action in the High Court after it was ruled that increases to charges across controlled parking zones (CPZs) in Barnet in order to pay for other transport projects were unlawful. Let us hope other London councils take note of this case. It reinforces the previous legal precedent that all councillors should be aware of – namely that you cannot use on-street parking schemes to generate revenue, i.e. there should not be an intended surplus.
But Barnet has not given up on increasing charges. They are bringing in one of those hated “emissions based permit parking schemes”, i.e. the more emissions your car makes the higher the charge even though no cars emit emissions when they are parked, and the probability of such a charge having any impact on emissions in the borough is very low because it only affects cars parked in CPZs and not those parked off road or elsewhere. This was clearly demonstrated in the London Borough of Richmond but councillors pushed ahead regardless. The ruling LibDem council and its leader were subsequently ejected by the electorate as the measure proved very unpopular (see http://www.freedomfordrivers.org/Richmond.htm for the ABD’s past campaign in that borough).