Are the @racfoundation being a bit silly again?

26 Jul

I notice that the RAC Foundation have again been using the ‘surplus’ word in relation to parking, this time it is in an article titled ‘Councils make half a billion pounds surplus from #parking each year‘ in which they express irritation and surprise that Westminster Council made a ‘surplus’ of £38 million from parking fees last year. Needless to say, their definition of ‘surplus’ ignores all capital costs as usual. This may sound like a lot, but this is a place where a single 5 bedroom flat can cost £30 million and office rental can run to £100K per week! Indeed, a single parking space, (at 320 sq ft) would cost £32,000 per year if rented out at £100 per sq ft, which is about right for Westminster.

It isn’t just the RAC Foundation who seem to be a bit blinkered in relation to parking in Westminster. Go back only a few months and we find a shop-keeper and a bishop both complaining about the terrible problems that would be caused if Westminster Council charged for parking on Sundays. The shop-keeper, Philip Green, explained that “people who come to London know they have got to find a place to park. Charging people on a Sunday is just outrageous behaviour” and the Bishop of London explained that “detrimental to the parishioners who have met Sunday by Sunday in our parish churches for hundreds of years“.

So.. not only do we have an organisation whch is no-doubt populated by very intelligent people calling the whole market economy into question, we also have a very rich shop-keeper suggesting that the city would grind to a halt unless people are allowed to park for free in the most expensive part of London and a bishop who seems to believe that parishioners have been driving to church for hundreds of years. Most remarkable! Personally I would suggest that charging motorists for parking on the highway in Westminster (and also in Kensington/Chelsea and other expensive areas) makes a huge amount of sense.

One Response to “Are the @racfoundation being a bit silly again?”

  1. Terry Rand December 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    While sympathetic to those cyclists injured on today’s roads, the proposal to allow cyclists to share pedestrian footways is unacceptable.
    I was struck by a cyclist riding fast on the footways outside my house. I was taken by ambulance to The Royal Free hospital where I was diagnosed with a bleed to the brain and suffered a stroke. I lost the use of the left side of my body – all because a cyclist felt able to use a footway provided for pedestrians, many of them elderly and vulnerable. Any attempt to advise e these cyclists to exercise care and consideration for pedestrians is met with abuse and threats. As an 80 year-old cyclists myself, who cycles on the main roads, I am appalled by the arrogance of these helmeted hooligans who are prepared to endanger pedestrians rather than take sensible precautions themselves on the roads provided for them.

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