Yes, it's true. In a recent interview, Council Leader Richard Cornelius expressed regret about last year's staggering CPZ increases imposed on Barnet residents who, unlike him, live in a CPZ. It's well worth watching the short clip posted on the Barnet Bugle website: http://www.barnetbugle.com/journal/2012/8/24/richard-cornelius-we-funked-it-with-huge-barnet-cpz-permit-r.html
But just how deep is his regret? Well, seemingly not deep enough to overturn the rises, though he does mention a planned concession: the introduction of (expensive) half day vouchers. We'll post full details about this soon, including some hard facts which show that they are not the bargain that the Council would like to make out.
Listening carefully to Councillor Cornelius's words, however, it's clear that his regret isn't over the fact that a one day visitor voucher costs an absurd £4.16 or a 3 month permit costs nearly £250. It's just that it would have been better in his view if the increases had been masked by being phased in over a few years.
In 2001, a resident's permit cost £20 and a visitor voucher cost 35p and that was more than enough to ensure that the CPZs broke even. By 2007, the cost had gone up significantly above inflation to £40 and £1. Does Councillor really believe that the increase of between 150% and 600% that he voted for would have been morally acceptable if they's been spread out over the preceding 3 years?