Good news for the elderly, while drivers not so happy

Reykjavík is considering big increases to the cost of city centre parking, while the Westman Islands have decided to cut costs for the elderly.

The Reykjavík City environment and transport committee has recommended to the city council that the cost of parking on city centre streets should be increased by two thirds.

The committee hopes the cost will increases from ISK 150 per hour up to 250 krónur and that charge times will be lengthened to 09.00-18.00 on weekdays and 09.00-16.00 on Saturdays. The committee has also recommended, however, that the cost of parking in indoor multi-storey car parks should not go up.

If the recommendations are approved by the council they will come into effect on 15th April, RÚV reports.

A statement from the City of Reykjavík says that overseas research into parking has clearly shown that parking spaces are occupied for longer when the cost is low and that higher charges mean more cars are able to come and go. Higher charges should, the committee reasons, ensure a better supply of available parking spaces in the city centre – to everybody’s advantage. According to the statement Reykjavík is the cheapest Nordic capital for parking. In Copenhagen parking costs ISK 620 per hour, ISK 680 in Oslo and ISK 640 per hour in Helsinki.

Meanwhile in other public charges news, the council on the Westman Islands, off southern Iceland, has decided to cancel all property taxes this year on residential properties owned by people aged over 70.

A statement from the council says that with its decision the Westman Islands have proven that they are willing to go further than other municipalities in making it easier for elderly people to remain in their own homes.

The Westman Islands’ accounts have seldom looked better and the municipality is in much better shape than many others in Iceland. The council has also decided to provide all under 18s in the town with a free swimming pass.

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