Plans to slash the cost of parking in London were unveiled by mayoral candidate Lawrence Fox on Wednesday as he vowed to reverse the “war on motorists”.
The actor and activist said if elected to City Hall he would seek to cap the cost of residents’ permits at £200 a year – less than half the amount charged in some London boroughs.
He claimed he would also stop councils from hiking on-street parking levies for more-polluting cars like diesels.
The move comes on top of promises to scrap the Congestion Charge, which raises £150 million a year, as well as the ULEZ charge for vehicles with dirty engines, which raises £40 million, and to cancel the proposed £3.50 Greater London Boundary Charge for vehicles entering the capital.
There was no explanation from the Fox campaign about how they would avoid a black hole of some £200 million a year in Transport for London’s current finances. His spokesman insisted: “These measures will pay for themselves.”
Parking charges are a matter for the 32 borough councils rather than the Mayor, but Mr Fox claimed he would be in a good position to influence local leaders if he won the mayoral race.
London’s highest band, in Camden, costs £493 a year, while Islington charges up to £490 and Lambeth up to £318.
Merton council has discussed plans to charge up to £690 for older and more polluting vehicles. Kensington and Croydon have both introduced higher hourly parking charges for polluting cars.
Mr Fox said: “I want to end the war on motorists. At this rate, the only people driving cars in London in a few years will be millionaires.”
“I will reduce the cost of parking across London by 50 per cent if elected.”
Asked how Mr Fox would balance the books, his spokesman said: “If we don’t take this action to revive central London, the loss of revenues will only grow.”
It is estimated that a boundary charge could fetch an additional £500 million for cash-strapped TfL from 2023.