Parking in Highbury and Islington can be straightforward – just make sure you’re clear about the rules and, where possible, make arrangements in advance.

According to an Evening Standard report last year, London is the second most congested city in Europe, with commuters spending an average of 73 hours a year stuck in traffic.

To tackle this congestion – and the resulting issues with air quality – the Mayor of London and local councils are taking measures which could affect all drivers. These include levies on diesel vehicles, incentives to switch to electric cars and restrictions on the number of parking bays in new developments. There’s also the Mayor’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone, introduced on 8 April 2019, which covers parts of Islington borough.

If you’re a driver, some of these initiatives could leave you feeling under siege – and out of pocket. The important thing is to understand the rules about driving and parking in Islington and keep on top of the changes. Here are a few things you should know.


Islington parking restrictions

Like most London boroughs, Islington is covered by controlled parking zones (CPZs) in which on-street parking is restricted during specified times. The restrictions are designed to enable residents to park close to their properties, while improving safety at junctions, reducing traffic and ensuring easy access for emergency vehicles. The hours of operation vary across the restricted zones, so it’s important to read the signs for each bay carefully.

On bank holidays, when Arsenal are not playing at home, you can enjoy free parking in Islington. You are permitted to park in any resident parking bay or pay and display bay in the borough, free of charge.

There are other restrictions, which may limit your options on any day, so always check the signs carefully. Remember too that double yellow lines mean no parking at any time.

Find out more about parking restrictions on Islington Council’s website.


Car parks in Islington

For anyone visiting Islington there are car parks in Elia Mews and Goodwin Street or in Upper Street, where you can book a space online.


Islington residents’ parking

If you live in Islington, you can apply for an Islington council parking permit. The price of this permit will depend on the engine size of your vehicle and its emissions. Electric cars are free of charge, while a large diesel vehicle could cost in excess of £600 per year. You can pay monthly to spread the cost and applications for permits are made online.

To view the range of charges and to buy or renew an Islington parking permit, visit the council website. To purchase your permit, you will need to provide proof of your address and proof that you own the vehicle. Don’t forget to update your details if you change cars.

Your permit will allow you to park in your particular CPZ. Between the hours of 11am and 3pm, the resident roamer scheme also allows you to park in any resident bay within the borough.


Visitor vouchers

Islington residents can buy vouchers which enable visitors to park for a limited period in a nearby parking bay. Islington Council has introduced e-vouchers, so you don’t have to wait for a paper voucher to arrive. Vehicles with a visitor voucher are entitled to park in any resident permit-holder bay or any resident shared-use bay, within the correct zone for the time period paid for. Order and pay for a visitor voucher here.


Short stay parking

There are almost 6,500 short stay parking bays in Islington. Anyone can use these spaces, which you can pay for at the adjacent ticket machines, using the RingGo app, at epay shops, or by calling 020 7125 0039. Parking fees cost up to £6 per hour, at the time of writing, and there is now an additional charge of £3 per hour for diesel vehicles.


Peer-to-peer parking services

Online marketplaces including JustPark and YourParkingSpace now enable you to find and book private parking spaces and garages. The benefits include the knowledge that you have a reserved space waiting for you. You might also find that you can reduce the cost of short-term parking with these services.


Parking near the Emirates Stadium

It is worth noting that the Emirates Stadium is situated in Islington. When Arsenal are playing at home, or the stadium is hosting a significant event such as a concert, additional parking restrictions will apply in some Islington parking zones. Arsenal Football Club and event organisers advise anyone attending to leave their cars at home, however, matches and concerts inevitably result in additional traffic and there may be road closures.


Loading and unloading

Goods can generally be loaded or unloaded on double and single yellow lines or in resident parking bays or short stay parking bays. However, there may be restrictions in force – these should be clearly displayed. You can only stop to load or unload for up to 40 minutes. Loading and unloading must be continuous or you could incur an Islington parking fine. Read more on the Islington Council website.


Electric charging points

At the time of writing, there are 90 on-street electric vehicle charging points in Islington, but the council plans to increase this number to 400 by 2021. The charging points are operated by Source London, POLAR, Ubitricity and Islington Council. The 14 charging points operated by the council are for the exclusive use of residents and include two rapid chargers. The current cost is £67 for your first year and £20 per year thereafter. Islington Council’s website features a guide to the EV charging point locations and the speed of the chargers.

Car club schemes

If you don’t need a car every day, you might benefit from joining a car club. Schemes such as Enterprise Car Club, Ubeeqo and Drive-Now give you access to a vehicle when you need it. The operators of car club schemes tend to invest in universal parking permits, which allow members to park in any resident bay across the borough.


London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

The new ULEZ covers same area as London’s congestion charge zone. In Islington, this means all areas south of Pentonville Road and City Road including Bunhill and Clerkenwell wards (see TFL’s map and postcode checker). The zone will be extended to the North and South Circulars by 2021.

Anyone driving a diesel car, which is more than four years old, or a petrol car, registered before 2005, must pay an extra £12.50 each day, on top of the congestions charge. For vans not meeting the standard, the charge will be £100.

People living within the zone, who are registered for the residents’ congestion charge discount, will get a 100% ULEZ discount until 24 October 2021.


Find out more

If you are thinking about a move to Islington, Highbury, Newington Green or around and have questions about the area – parking or otherwise – please get in touch today, or take a look at our selection of properties to buy or rent.