Enfield Council has just published new proposed Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) fees . Much of the discussions on these fees will probably focus on the "bigger cars pay more" banding, but there is a far more damning rate near the bottom of the table of fees – a "commuter rate".
Yes, let me say that again, a commuter rate. Now CPZs are normally placed near train and tube stations and touted as being to stop commuters from clogging up the streets, stopping residents, local workers and tradesmen from being able to park, but Enfield is proposing a commuter rate.
The rate is £660/annum which immediately places it well beyond local shop workers, or the teachers who will be prevented from parking near Chase Side or George Spicer primary schools by the proposed Enfield Town CPZ extension. The people who will be able to afford it are wealthy commuters wanting to park before commuting into the city.
This is the most regressive tax I’ve seen for some time, and finally lays to rest the myth that CPZs are about helping local residents. Instead we see a clear statement that this is about charging for parking on Enfield streets, nothing more, nothing less.
Now I have no problem with encouraging the use of smaller, fuel efficient cars and frankly don’t believe that "chelsea tractors" (huge 4x4s) have any place in cities, but the idea of reserving parking for the rich is simply not on!