Parking charges are set to sky-rocket in Wimbledon after the council approved a controversial new system.

Earlier this year a consultation was launched for a proposal that would see see on street parking in Wimbledon town centre rise to £4.50 an hour from £1.20-2.40, while areas such as Raynes Park and Colliers Wood would go up to £3. Now those increases have been approved.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, health and the environment, Tobin Byers said: “The council recognises its role to improve air quality by reducing demand for parking and cutting congestion by driving down car use.

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"We also want to improve public health by making the healthy choice the easy choice – encouraging residents to make more journeys on foot or bike, rather than by car.”

"Encouraging people to travel more sustainably is just one of a number of actions the council is taking to address air quality across the borough. Our Air Quality Action Plan – adopted in 2018 – included some 70 recommendations, and progress is being made on them all.

"We are committed to improving the quality or the air we breathe across the borough, and our new parking charges structure is just one element of that.”

But this decision has been met with anger from the Merton Conservative group who said they will be writing to council officers to demand this decision be reviewed by the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.

“The Labour administration has ignored the clearly expressed views of over 3,000 local residents who have clearly said that they do not want this unfair discriminatory tax hike on Wimbledon," Councillor Daniel Holden said.

"Since the Labour administration proposed this tax increase Merton Conservatives have challenged them repeatedly to prove that taxing parked cars will improve air quality."

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The new parking charges are set to come into force during the autumn.

The council also added that income from parking charges can only be spent on running the parking service and transport projects, including filling in potholes, resurfacing borough roads and new cycling schemes.

Mr Holden continued to say that the air quality argument had not been proven in this case.

"They have not been able to present a credibly piece of evidence that introducing this tax will improve air quality, it is simply a tax to fill the hole in Labour’s budget caused by their failure to be a business like administration," he added.

"It is clear that Labour has no interest in the opinion of Wimbledon residents, and view them as a cash cow to fill the budget gap caused by the Labour administration’s failed policies.”

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The council said that proximity to public transport was one of the key criteria it used to determine how to divide the borough into parking charges zones.

Below is a list of the table of parking charges that will be coming into place for on-street pay and display zones.

  • Zone 1 - 255 bays in Wimbledon town centre - £4.50
  • Zone 2 - Wimbledon Village, Wimbledon Park, South Wimbledon Raynes Park. Colliers Wood - £3.00
  • Zone 3 - Mitcham, Morden and other areas not specified - £1.50
  • Zone 1a - Wimbledon Common - £1.50