London council leader promises to scrap parking fees ahead of 2022 local elections

A London council leader has promised residents free parking ahead of local elections in May. Hammersmith and Fulham Council leader Stephen Cowan has pledged to cut the charges to help residents deal with the cost of living crisis.

The council introduced parking fines of up to £130 at the height of the pandemic to stop motorists from using H ammersmith and Fulham “like a car park” when they visited Central London. Councillor Cowan said: “The parking charge increases were a mistake at the time and they are even more of a mistake now that the pandemic has eased.

He added: “So I want to apologise for getting this wrong and promise that we will get it right if residents hire us again to run the Borough. While an emissions-based policy was the correct way to go, the increased charges for residents was not.

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“We will cut these charges. And we’ll go further too. We propose to make Borough-wide parking free to residents outside of rush hour and school-run traffic to help local people better defend their families against the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis.”

The Labour council has also frozen council tax and provided free breakfasts to primary school children to help sky-rocketing costs. Hammersmith and Fulham has also got rid of home care charges for elderly and disabled residents.

Cllr Cowan said: “Our pledge to cut parking charges is good news for both Hammersmith and Fulham residents and businesses, by supporting people to shop locally, and provides a disincentive for non-residents to use the Borough as a parking lot when they want to head into Central London by Tube or bus.

“As families face the gravest fall in living standards on record – with Government taxes up, energy bills through the roof and food prices soaring – we reiterate our determination to do everything in our power to support families through this crisis.”

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