CPZ parking charges to be revised

Mistake made in setting up Gunnersbury Estate Scheme

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A sharp eyed resident has spotted a mistake in the public notice for a new scheme which could have led to residents being overcharged for permits.

The new CPZ in the Gunnersbury Estate was advertised by Hounslow Council as having an annual permit charge of £65 for a single car. This was set at the same rate as schemes in the Chiswick area for which, controversially, the Council charge a higher rate than elsewhere in the Borough. However, unlike most of the other schemes the Gunnersbury area one operates for a limited number of hours a day. Parking restrictions apply between 9.30am and 11.30am and between 3.30pm and 5.30pm on Mondays to Fridays (Christmas Day, Good Friday and Bank Holidays excepted). According to Hounslow's own parking policy this would mean that there shuld be a pro-rata reduction in the charge.

The error was drawn to the attention of the Council by Robin Cox. He received a reply from Nick Woods Head of Traffic and Safety saying that the mistake had already been spotted. The drafts of the explanatory booklet that will be issued to residents in the area will include the reduced prices. As the change would result in a reduction in charges it was not felt necessary to readvertise the scheme.

The matter has raised further concerns about the way Councils notify residents about CPZ schemes and major planning applications. Often public notices are placed in newspapers which are not even circulated in the areas affected or have a very low circulation. Councils may be in breach of their statutory duty if they do not publicise public notices effectively. Following a report from Ove Arup that showed that the internet was the most effective way to notify the public about planning applications Camden Council obtained a special order in Parliament which allowed them to place public notices exclusively on the web.

November 19, 2004