An Earlsfield resident contacted me via this website with a query about the payment of parking permits. I therefore submitted the following question to Wandsworth Council at this month’s council meeting. I will follow up with the parking team to clarify the proposed timescales for the new online payment system.
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Why does it cost so much more to pay quarterly for a resident parking permit than annually? Currently residents have to pay an additional £117 (online) or £177 (over the counter) if they pay every three months. Why are residents not given the option to pay the annual charge (£175 online / £195 over the counter) in monthly instalments, as is offered by the DVLA for example, rather than penalise residents unable to pay a lump sum in one go?
Permits were introduced in a range of periods to cater for residents’ needs from 1 month (for new residents), 3 months and 12 months. When the permit pricing structure was determined it had to take account of the additional administration and the repeated provision of controlled stationery, printing and postage costs involved in the processing of more frequent permit applications and the additional volume of work that this creates in the back office.
The question of whether a resident chooses to apply for 4 three month permits or 1 twelve month permit is a matter of personal preference however, the pricing structure is designed to dissuade customers from applying for shorter periods and encourage twelve month applications.
The option of permits being applied for online and paid for by monthly direct debit has been investigated but it was found that this is not supported by our current on line permit solution. This is however an area that we are very keen to progress and it is already planned to review this when the new permit solution is implemented.