My monthly report this month is dedicated to the issue of car parking in Mayfair; or rather the threat of 1,700 car parking spaces being STOLEN out of the West End by Westminster City Council (WCC) after “traffic surveys” showed stress areas in the evening.

Understandably there has been local public outrage to WCC actions for Mayfair and in my 40 years in business I have never seen stakeholders so united against the council’s proposals.

Sadly I have also never seen WCC so intransigent to admit that maybe their survey data for Mayfair is wrong and that the full implications of their actions have not been thought through.

Inaccurate survey results can negatively impact decision making. Ironically Cllr Lee Rowley, Cabinet Member for Parking and Transportation, is quoted on the WCC website that he “passionately believes in the virtues of small government, less tax and less bureaucracy”.

But locally the Landlords, Businesses, Residents, Visitors, Late-Night Workers and the general hospitality industry are all against the proposals and are calling for the council to withdraw and conduct new surveys and consultation.

The council believes that taking out 1,700 car parking spaces will “mean our residents will be able to park near their homes, businesses can continue to deliver goods, and visitors can have a realistic expectation that they will be able to park when coming into the city.”

However Richard Bridgeman, the 7th Earl of Bradford who owns restaurants in the area, including Porters English Restaurant in Covent Garden, accused the council of an attempt to “kill off” one of the few thriving areas left in Britain.

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying that “a fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”. To all the stakeholder’s this is how WCC appears to be acting.

Albert Einstein said “Those who have the privilege to know, have a privilege to act”

This is what a number of stakeholders are now doing in a desperate last attempt to halt these proposals and more action is required from all stakeholders before WCC kill off a successful Mayfair.

If you have read this far I will give you one last quote –

“Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand”

Unless we are all vocal and take action you will ALL suffer the consequences – whether you live, work or just visit Mayfair.

Comically this is not the first time that legislators have made daft decisions about Mayfair.

In 1954 Winston Churchill’s Government considered and thankfully rejected the idea of paving over Hyde Park and the Mall for parking spaces. The debate however lead to the first parking meter in Grosvenor Square on the 10th July 1958 with Mayfair residents seeing 600 of them “planted” in the pavements of the area.

The charge was 6d (2½p) an hour for the first two hours, ten shillings for the next two hours, and two pounds after that.

The no parking on yellow lines proposals is to extend the hours to midnight from Monday to Saturday, instead of finishing at 6.30pm, and introducing new hours from 1 to 6pm on Sundays.

Residents lose out as formerly they could park for free between 5.30 and 6.30 in a meter space, and then remain there with an hour’s grace in the morning as well.

Now, unless they can find a resident’s parking space, they will have to pay as they will not have the option of parking on a yellow line any longer. That is if they can find one!

Every type of business will really suffer restaurants, hotels, shops, theatres and many more, all at a time when economic conditions are not exactly helping.

Even the churches are untied against the council.

Last, but definitely not least, many workers will have their livelihoods ruined, from musicians playing in the theatre to casino workers, many of whom rely on their car as the means of getting to work and returning safely home in the early hours.

Let us hope that they see sense and reverse this disastrous move that will cause immense harm to the West End, the entertainment and shopping centre of England.

I attach a pdf for an A4 poster urging the council to STOP their actions.

Forward it, print it and display it.

Email the council voicing your concerns

[email protected]

Email me if you want to help and join a proposed action group.

I repeat –

“Apathy is the glove into which evils slips its hand”