Senator approves Edwin Sifuna's motion on parking fees

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna. [File, Standard]

Hospitals, shopping malls, airports, and other public facilities offering essential services might be compelled to scrap or reduce parking fees if a motion by Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna becomes government policy.

Yesterday [Tuesday] the Senate approved Sifuna's maiden motion on a policy framework protecting motorists accessing hospitals, airports, and shopping malls from paying parking fees.

In the motion, the Senator advances the argument that "many urban areas and towns in Kenya lack designated car parking areas as a result of the imbalance between

parking supply and demand mainly due to ineffective land use planning and miscalculations of space requirements, thereby leading to exorbitant parking fees".

He also notes most essential services offered in hospitals, educational institutions, airports, shopping malls, and other public utilities are offered in urban centres, and other designated areas that charge parking fees to access.

According to Sen. Sifuna, whether they are delivered by public or private providers, essential services such as health, banking, education, shopping and other utilities are considered to be public services because they are public goods that sustain the well-being of every citizen and help in the development of society as a whole.

Sen. Sifuna advances the view that access to hospitals, educational institutions, airports, shopping malls, and other places offering essential services might be hindered due to exorbitant parking fees levied on motorists accessing these services.

He is also concerned that charging entry fees amounts to double taxation as the motorists who would have paid the parking fees will still pay for the services they seek.

Concluding, he asks the Senate to urge the Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Housing and Physical Planning together with the Council of Governors to come up with a policy framework to create an enabling environment for the protection of motorists accessing essential services from paying exorbitant parking fees.