Cheap parking for early arrivals

First-come, first-served discount parking is to be introduced in central London, with charges based on the number of spaces available.

Early arrivals at Westminster's Queensway 250-space car park will be charged just 20p an hour or £4.80 a day - when there are only a few spaces filled.

The scheme is the first of its kind in the UK, and may be extended to all 14 of Westminster's car parks, including those in the West End.

Councillor Danny Chalkley said: "We know that many drivers in London are put off by expensive parking charges. Now they will be able to park far more cheaply on a first-come, first-served basis."

Half of the motorists polled who knew of the scheme said it had regularly saved them money, while a fifth said they had used Queensway because it was the cheapest option.

It is hoped that variable pricing will help local business by attracting more drivers to central London. Since the introduction of the £8 congestion charge, retailers have complained that drivers have been priced out of the area.

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