Westminster Council recently leased out a portfolio of the city's car parks to a private operator, with the aim of saving taxpayers more than £3 million a year.
14 of the council's car parks (which have approximately 4,200 spaces and 900n motorcycle bays) will now be operated by Q-Park Ltd, following the successful leasing of Chiltern Street and Leicester Square car parks last year.
Q-Park Ltd are widely considered to be one of Europe's leading providers of car park facilities and manage over 800,000 spaces in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. They also plan to carry out a £10 million improvement project across the 14 car parks in Westminster, which will include Oxford Street, Park Lane, Knightsbridge, China Town and St. John's Wood.
Arrangements for residents parking permits will remain for the duration of the leases. Existing arrangements for electric vehicle parking and free motorcycle parking will also be retained.
Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for Finance, said savings would be made through reduced staff, operating, maintenance and repair costs.
Cllr Caplan said: "Given the current economic climate it's vital that as a council we look at all the resources available to us to help provide savings for the taxpayer and in turn protect key services for residents across Westminster.
"The leasing of our car parks is one way of improving parking services and securing vital improvement works while ensuring we are getting the best value for money possible for our residents, businesses and motorists"