Monday, January 12, 2009

The parking rip-off continues in Richmond

CO2 emissions consultationIt seems the bright sparks in our council are doing all they can to extract more money from motorists and kill local business:
  • after charging for parking on week-ends (it used to be free, remember?)
  • employing aggressive or scary parking attendants to enforce unclear rules
  • charging for CO2 emissions when cars are not polluting (parking by CO2 emissions, just as a memo to the council, CO2 is NOT a pollutant)
  • introducing spy cars, often parked illegally to fine you when unloading
... and now, Richmond Council proposes extending emission based charging. Of course, there are no details as to how this will be implemented, for instance for old cars, bought way before all that CO2 emission nonsense (read Focussing on CO2: good for bears, bad for humans?). More annoyingly, all cars will need to be registered first, at a cost of £2.50.

I predict this will put off many casual shoppers, who will go to Kingston insead -that's much revenue lost of local shops.

Being greener is a laudable goal, but I am annoyed at getting the tax stick every time. Here's what I suggest:
  • introduce a proper, safe and segregated from cars, cycling network, without interruptions, for instance on Lower and Upper Richmond roads
  • introduced safe (monitored and patrolled), sheltered bicycle parkings at all stations and public buildings (such as Richmond library or Sheen Lane Center which was revamped without such a parking lately
  • remove many cul de sacs that force motorists to take detours and emit more CO2
  • introduce shared spaces for car-pedestrian-cycle spaces in central Richmond, around the Green
  • introduce a cyle-hire scheme, like the VĂ©lib
  • give council tax cuts for those insulating their houses or installing green roofs -the current national guidelines are far too low
Is that enough?

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