Westminster Council and double yellow lines in Mayfair

The controversy over parking charges on streets controlled by Westminster Council shows no sign of going away.  The Conservative controlled Council now faces accusations that it has tried to implement its so-called “tax on nightlife” on the quiet by cynically adding new double yellow lines at more than 130 road junctions.

The decision by the Council, which was approved just before Christmas, followed the shock announcement by its leader Cllr Colin Barrow that the proposed Sunday and evening West End parking charges of up to £4.80 an hour would be postponed until after the Olympics.  Local businesses believed that the sudden decision had been made in part to comply with a court order but, nevertheless, the rethink was welcomed by the business community.

The decision to impose new double yellow lines is being seen as a cynical move by the Council. The opposition Labour group leader Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg warned about the implications for the night time economy in the area. He said it could mean that evening visitors to the West End, including those who work in theatres, clubs and casinos, could pay up to £20 a night to park.

It has now emerged that the Mayfair restaurateur Mr Richard Caring will seek to block the council’s move to convert stretches of single yellow lines to doubles in the High Court next week. Lawyers for the owner of landmark restaurants such as The Ivy, J Sheekey and Le Caprice will argue that the council has not demonstrated that irresponsible parking on single yellow lines has contributed to congestion and that consultation about the changes was inadequate.

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