Britain’s biggest car park operator NCP was accused of taking advantage of the Olympics as charges at its central London sites increased by up to three-fold since the beginning of the games.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, visitors to the capital are being hit with parking prices ramped up by an ‘average’ of 40 per cent at more than a third of its car parks in the capital in the run up to and during the Olympics, admitted NCP which runs more than half of central London spaces.
The Automobile Association of the UK said the increases in cost had no transport justification, whilst NCP responded that the increased charges at some sites were due to a large projected increase in additional customers, and necessary to ensure the sites run smoothly and ‘hassle-free’ without a slip in standards.
NCP claims it has invested £2.5million in preparing for the games period, hired an additional 35 staff on top of its usual 185, equipped them with special radios costing a total of £5,000 in case the mobile phone network went down, and was running van and bike shuttles to ensure car parks ran smoothly. They have also created an extra 165 spaces in Leyton, East London where they are charging £35 a day.
The 38 car parks which were subject to price hikes represented 4,500 spaces in primarily entertainment or upmarket shopping districts such as the West End, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Mayfair, the City and Soho where Olympic visitors would go to relax after visiting the games.