The Weird and Wonderful World of London Parking

For some reason Westminster Council is trying out a new way to charge people for parking that boggles the mind. The scheme, ostensibly aimed at people on a budget, charges people more or less depending on how full the car park is – a scheme inspired by easyJet’s cheap fares for the first purchasers. So arrive first, and you get charged 20p an hour, arrive when the car park is full and be charged £2 an hour.

Will it save people money? Or is it just the most ridiculous thing ever? I mean, if I knew a car park only charged 20p an hour I’d try and park there, but so would everyone else – so most likely it will be full, and hence at the two quid an hour level. Still not bad by London standards of course, but not a bargain. With easyJet this system makes sense, as it encourages people to book early and lets easyJet keep the money and get interest – a bird in the hand and all that. With car parking when people turn up and pay it sounds crazy to me. People looking for a bargain will turn up, find it’s not that cheap, then drive somewhere else leading to an increase in fuel consumption and pollution, not to mention frustration. Crazy.

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