Monday, November 15, 2010

Red Route Parking Charges

The BBC's Tom Edwards reports about proposals to charge for parking on red routes. You'll notice that a lot of red routes have parking/loading spaces, usually in the middle of the cycle lane. Currently, you can park for nothing in these spaces providing you observe the hours of operation.

As usual, the BBC are quick to consult their best mate, so-called parking campaigner Paul Pearson, threaten that this will 'kill off businesses' (you can always rely on businesses to say that) and ask the rhetorical (and ill-constructed) question "is paying for parking on red routes a price worth paying?"

The BBC's script has been written by the motor lobby. As usual, they don't put the other side of the story. First, roadspace is a premium asset. It is not in the taxpayers' interest that TfL should effectively giving this valuable asset away for free, especially in these austere times. Second, these spaces often block cycle lanes and cause danger. Ostensibly they're for loading, but in practice they are often simply used as free parking. Third, public transport users are expected to stump up huge fare increases. Why should they be subsidizing free parking for the least green form of transport? Fourth, free parking fosters car dependency and results in more traffic.

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