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This parking policy is quite absurd

06 December, 2019

Council leader Richard Watts

• IT’S good to see Richard Watts’s personal commitment to reversing Islington’s practice of increasing the numbers of parking spaces across the borough – question is: why was it ever policy in the first place? (Labour in U-turn on parking amid climate fears, November 29).

Could it have anything to do with Islington’s bespoke “drive and park” aka “roamer parking” scheme? Cllr Watts has a disappointing answer regarding this absurd policy which encourages short, and therefore more polluting, car journeys.

He claims that most car-owning residents don’t use the scheme; but since the council doesn’t collect data on roamer parking, where’s the evidence for his claim? Perhaps he’ll share it with the rest of us. Or is this is simply an election strategy?

There’s a local election next Thursday alongside the national one, and among those voting in St George’s ward there will undoubtedly be some car-owning households. Council leader Watts won’t want to jeopardise his party’s majority in the Town Hall.

Continuing with a policy which backs the fewer than one-third of Islington households that owns, or has access to, a private vehicle is clearly a policy “for the few, not the many”, upending a popular Labour Party slogan.



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