6 February 2014

Kenya: Nairobi Should Charge Even More for Parking

Photo: Bruce Hamilton
Downtown Nairobi (file photo).


YESTERDAY the Nairobi county government finally raised its day parking rate from Sh140 to Sh300.

A court action by disgruntled Nairobi residents last year delayed implementation of the new charges until the Appeal Court finally dismissed it last month.

People will grumble about the new rates but the truth is that the Council should charge even more. The new parking charges are not enough to decongest the CBD and other busy areas of Nairobi.

In central London, it costs Sh500 to park for just 30 minutes. The Greater London Authority is trying to discourage drivers from bringing their cars into London unless it is absolutely necessary.

Nairobi county should move away from charging a day rate. It should charge an hourly rate, perhaps Sh200 per hour. It would be cheaper to park briefly but much more expensive to park for eight hours in the CBD.

In the long run, it will be impossible for Nairobi residents to commute from residential to industrial and commercial areas. People will have to travel by public transport, whether it is improved buses, taxis or trains.

Raising parking charges now is a good way to prepare Nairobians for that future where they cannot commute by car.

Quote of the day: "History has to be rewritten in every generation, because although the past does not change, the present does."- Radical English historian Christopher Hill was born on February 6, 1912.

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