Tag Archives: oyster

Parking in London

Oyster card readerFollowing on from a conversation I had with a friend the other day, I thought I’d mention this idea here.

I’m sure it has been proposed before, but why aren’t London parking meters made a part of the Oyster network? The advantages would appear to be legion:

1. Per minute billing would encourage people to vacate the space as quickly a possible.

2. It could be easily integrated with residential parking passes (just as Oyster is already used for complementary travel).

3. Traffic wardens would have less of an incentive to hover around parking meters waiting to pounce on anyone who outstayed their welcome.

4. Instead of issuing fines, you could just have an automatic billing system whereby the first hour cost X per minute while after that it went up to 10X per minute – people couldn’t use the network until they’d cleared any backlog on their card.

5. It would encourage motorists to acquire Oyster cards – and thus make greater use of public transport.

There are obviously civil liberty concerns about the being able to use the system to track people’s movements, but those concerns apply to the Oyster system anyway. They are solvable, by scrapping the RIPA for example. Either way, London is the most CCTV riddled city in the country.

It seems to me it would offer tangible benefits to the motorist, while encouraging efficient use of parking space at the same time. What are the disadvantages?