Eaton Park Charge: Labour’s Plan to Penalise the Poor and Disregard the Elderly by Taxing Fresh Air

2 Feb 2023

(above: Eaton Park)

The Labour City Council have succeeded in their bid to apply regressive and deeply damaging parking charges to Eaton Park, with installation of ticketing infrastructure to the tune of £27k due to begin in March. We are very concerned about the implications of this plan on local transport infrastructure, with the probability of cars displacing onto North & South Park Avenues appearing almost inevitable. 

A knock-on effect of disruption is rightly a worry to residents of not only these roads, but nearby non-permit zones too like George Borrow and Elizabeth Fry, whose existent nuisance parking issues are likely to only intensify.

Though it is not only nearby residents with cause to worry, as South Park Avenue is on a major bus route, it is entirely conceivable that, far from dissuading car usage, this disastrous plan may actually increase high-carbon transport by further endangering horrifically poor citywide bus services, as double-deckers struggle to manoeuvre around a maze of parked cars.

More fundamentally though, these charges are the wrong thing to do. They are essentially a cruel tax on the elderly, the disabled, and families with young children, who have no choice but to drive in order to reach Eaton. When budgets are at their tightest in years, Labour are slapping down extra charges that will disproportionately hit the most vulnerable in society when they are already at breaking point.

A visit to the park helps you physically and mentally, whatever your age and personal circumstance. Instead, Labour would rather use you all as a cash cow, health be damned.

Labour have made no secret of their desires to expand this scheme across the city, and have clearly been using Eaton as the guinea pig. When they launched a consultation on the idea, 700 responses were received, but they have not revealed how many were in support. A recent Freedom of Information Request from a member of the public has also revealed that the Council has “no specific business case,” both of which are potentially scandalous.

Labour are taking us for granted, use your vote in May to show them they’re wrong to do so. The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose this scheme at every junction.