Objection to the Proposed Increase in Barbican Residents Parking Fees
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We the undersigned Barbican Residents object to the proposed increase in cost of parking spaces in Barbican car parks to £2,000pa.
The proposed increase represents a 63% increase in parking costs. We understand that the Barbican Estate is currently failing to rent out all existing spaces at the current price of £1255pa. This points to a fundamental lack of demand at the current price. There are many causes for this lack of demand, one of which is the Congestion Charging Zone. The Mayor of London's proposal to introduce an additional Ultra Low Emission Charging Zone (from which residents will not receive a permanent discount) will result in most residents that currently use the car parks having to purchase new ultra low emission vehicles.
This fact indicates that demand for parking at current pricing levels is likely to fall, not increase as a result of the total increased cost of motoring for residents. This means that the value of parking spaces is likely to fall, not increase in the future, a fact that has not been articulated in the Agenda supplied to the BRC, nor in the Appendices thereto. This fact seems to have been totally overlooked by the consultant surveyors.
Furthermore, the comparisons with parking costs in other central London commercial locations are not comparable, as the usage by commercial users does not reflect the value placed upon parking by residential users. Similarly, the comparison with other residential locations (e.g. Dolphin Square) does not reflect a similar comparison, because the locations are considerably different (e.g. not in the Congestion Charging Zone), the income distribution among residents is likely to differ and the comparison does not take into account the supply or scarcity of parking spaces.
Somewhat conveniently, the surveyors have omitted a comparison with residents parking in the very nearby Smithfield Car Park, which is available for around £800pa.
The restriction in the ability of the Barbican Estate to offer existing car parking spaces for commercial use by non-residents has to be borne by the Barbican Estate. The Estate formulated the leasehold terms and it must be responsible for any shortfall in funding as a result of its decision, just as it would be responsible for any gain in funding if circumstances were different. The fact is that the Estate was planned with more parking than is required now and in the foreseeable future. This is the Barbican Estate's problem, not that of the residents.
Increasing the cost by more than inflation will result in many of us selling our cars (as we will have to in order to meet the proposed ULEV charging zone) and not replacing them, resulting in a fall in revenue to the Barbican Estate.
We urge the Barbican Estate to drop this proposed increase in parking costs and, if anything, to reduce parking costs to stimulate demand.
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