Westminster City Council is to rescind its controversial plan to extend parking bay charges to evenings and weekends.
The changes, which had previously been postponed until after this summer’s Olympics, had been rallied again by theatres and businesses in the West End who feared that the additional parking charges would have a horrendous effect on both workers and customers.
Councillor Colin Barrow, Leader of the council, commented: “We have listened to Londoners in the interests of the wider economy and will scrap the charging plans. We need to think long and hard about how we manage traffic in the West End to allow people to go about their business, but it’s clear that these specific proposals did not command public support. I also felt, after reflecting on this issue, that it was right to act swiftly rather than wait for the election of a new council Leader in order to provide clarity for the future.”
The proposed charges, which were due to be implemented on 9 January , would have seen between £2.20 and £4.40 an hour charged on parking bays up until midnight from Monday to Saturday and from 13:00 to 18:00 on Sundays.
In response to the news, Mark Rubinstein, President of the Society of London Theatre, said: “We are delighted with the news that Westminster City Council has listened to the concerns of a wide range of Londoners and have decided to scrap the proposed changes to parking charges. It is a victory for common sense that means audiences, performers and the visitors to the West End can take full advantage of the many wonders that Theatreland has to offer.”