CAR parking charges are set to be simplified following complaints from motorists, the council has announced.
Parking fees in Harrow vary considerably, with some 15 different types of charges and a variety of different charging periods in force across the borough, which can be both confusing for motorists.
Harrow Council is consulting on a new scheme which would have four categories created, in a similar way to zones on the London Underground, called the local centre, district centre, major centre and metropolitan centre, with a different tariff for each.
The local centres will be areas such as Sudbury Hill and Hatch End, while Pinner or Wealdstone will make up district centres, Edgware a major centre and most of Harrow town centre a metropolitan centre.
A standard time period for charges of 20 minutes for on-street parking and an hour in council operated car parks has also been proposed. A very small number of locations in the borough have a long stay tariff, daily rate, which will stay the same.
Harrow Council’s portfolio holder for environment, councillor Asad Omar, said: “Following our earlier consultation, when we listened carefully to the views of residents and business, these new simpler charges demonstrate Harrow Council’s commitment to supporting businesses within our excellent district and shopping centres. The new charges will be easier for everyone across the borough to understand.”
The plans follow a six-week consultation in October 2011 in which more than 1,800 businesses, individuals and organisations were invited to give their opinions on car parking tariffs.
Their views were used as part of a review of car parking charges to ensure charges are applied fairly across Harrow. The new plans were approved by the council’s cabinet in June.
The council is now consulting on these plans, which will run until Thursday, August 8.
A trial will begin on Monday, August 12, to find out whether the free parking measure will increase the short stay use of the existing parking bays and the number of customers visiting the shops. The results of the trial will be used to decide whether it should be rolled out across the borough later this year. Separately, the council is going to trial 20 minutes of free on-street parking in Rayners Lane to encourage custom in its shops.
Have your say on the changes by filling out an online form at: www.harrow.gov.uk/consultations
n What do you think about the proposals? Email your views to email@example.com.