Westminster makes a welcome u-turn

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings

Hurray! Westminster Council has finally seen sense and scrapped its plans to charge for parking in the evenings and on Sundays – for now at least. The council has postponed the introduction of charges for a minimum of nine months from January, as a result of a High Court ruling that “the plan would damage business and churches.”

Those of us that live in London can allow ourselves to breathe a small sigh of relief. The charges – had they come into effect – would surely have driven away trade from local restaurants and retailers, at a time when both businesses and consumers are facing financial difficulties.

We have said it before and we’ll say it again: people won’t be deterred from visiting the capital because some shop windows were smashed in Clapham, Acton et al during the August riots. Rather, it’s price hikes that will put people off visiting London and the UK – and thereby damage tourism.

Let’s hope that Edinburgh and Cambridge follow in Westminster’s footsteps and change their mind about introducing a tax on entertainment. Edinburgh, Cambridge and Westminster may all need money but boosting their coffers through parking charges and tourist taxes is not the answer.
Update: 17/12/2011. Edinburgh will have no accommodation tax as the Scottish government has refused to transfer the necessary powers to the city

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