Monday, 28 November 2011

Residents' parking in the east of Newtown

For a number of years now we have been working on tackling parking problems in the east of Newtown.

We have had a few successes such as getting non-essential yellow lines trimmed but this has only created a few spaces rather than fundamentally addressing the problem.

Following our sustained campaign – over five years – the Council will now be consulting residents on this issue – as they have already lost two Labour councillors and are in fear of losing another in 2012. People in Liverpool, Freshwater, Coventry, Norton, Filey, Manchester, Radstock and London roads will receive a consultation letter shortly after November 30.

The consultation includes three variations on residents' parking in the area. As well as the consultation letter there will be a display in Palmer Park library and the Kennet and Brunel Community Association are looking at organising a public meeting on this issue.

Earlier in the year we conducted an informal consultation on this issue. Approximately 60% of people were in favour of residents' parking, 10% against and the rest undecided.

Any scheme like this will have a knock-on effect and we will definitely be mindful of roads such as St Bartholomew's which may be impacted.

When the consultation goes public I will post more information here.


colm daly said...

Am I being presumptuous in saying that those who held the informal consultation are themselves in favor of permit parking?

Am I being presumptuous too in saying that it was a small sample who were informally consulted?

Lets take the politics out of parking!

Rob White said...

I personally think that residents' parking would improve the situation. However as far as possible we were providing residents with the facts and trying not to lead them.

We knocked on every door in the east of Newtown and asked the question. From memory we got about 200 responses. Which I think is a reasonable return.

Through the Council conducting the formal consultation on this that will help to take the politics out of it.

Would it be fair to say that you are strongly against introducing residents' parking?

colm daly said...

I'm not opposed to permit parking per say. If it can be shown that it maximizes the availability of parking spaces in Newtown then I'd say yes. However deregulation would appear to me to be the best course to take, and let natural law determine how the best occupancy of space is achieved. If that creates contentious circumstances then so be it, we certainly should not be any worse off if it creates more available spaces. I would rather have a conflict resolution process for individual cases rather than any proposed punitive one imposed on everyone, particularly if it doesn't deliver what it says on the tin. I want to see a uniform system for the whole of Newtown that doesn't discriminate between the haves and have nots, and an end to open space development being converted into yet more blocks of flats that only exasperate the problem.

Christine said...

The Minutes of TMAP of 14 November 2005 say, at Minute 46, regarding the possible introduction of a residents parking scheme east of Cholmeley Road: "The results had shown in the Newtown area that there was not a clear majority in support of the scheme and that there were responses from about 1 in 3 properties. The report therefore recommended that no action should be taken but that the request should be held on the Traffic Management Pending List for re-consideration at a later date."
That was, of course, exactly six years ago. So maybe you didn't know that residents had turned it down. (as they had previously when Cumberland to Cholmeley did go for a Residents' Parking scheme.)

And I claim that I persuaded council traffic engineers that the double yellow lines "protecting" corners could safely be trimmed back all over town a least two years before that, when I was Chair of TMAP

Rob White said...

Thanks Christine. Yes, I was aware residents had turned this down before. Many people who voted no last time have told us on the doorstep that it has got worse and they will be voting yes this time.

sez.seymour said...

Six years ago I was one of the residents who said no but in the last six years the situation has greatly worsened. I am not convinced that permit holders only is the way to go - after all it doesn't entitle us to a space and maybe just too many of us have cars now, but I have got to the stage where I am willing to give it a go because I really don't want to move and I am fed up of being help hostage by the endless "will I be able to park?" panic

Christine said...

Colm: Planning rules require that new buildings provide off-road parking, and deny them the right to a residents' parking permit. As you must have noticed. Planning rules ALSO provide that those conversions, from an individual house to flats, which need planning permission are denied residents parking permits if as and when the area is or comes into a residents' parking area. So, oddly enough, despite what you say, new blocks of flats should not exacerbate problems. The one-way system between Cholmeley and Liverpool Roads has made those roads more fully parked as there is no longer a risk of needing a passing space. However, unregistered HMOs and house-shares may exacerbate problems. A residents' parking scheme would limit the number of cars with permits per household to a max of two. Which would still be more than the kerb-space available.

colm daly said...

Christine: Any space used for new build flats denies us a potential common parking lot; increases head count and therefore traffic, and even if off-road parking is provided it doesn't have to be used and ultimately exasperates congestion on parking tolerant roads.
Similarly, permit parking residents don't have to use their roads, they too can choke up parking tolerant roads, and is why the imposed fragmentation of parking regulation in Newtown should be undone.
Also, permit parking residents can buy an extra ticket that can equally be used to choke up parking tolerant roads who themselves are denied this luxury.
In other words the reasons why the tolerant parking roads have got worse is because of the controlled parking roads having it all their own way. These inequities have only happened since controlled parking was introduced, which ironically only lessens rather enhances available parking spaces. Before subjecting us to the dubious merits of greater controlled parking why not address the inequitities first?

colm daly said...

Just an after thought: I believe there are circa 2200 dwellings in Newtown, most of which are multi-occupancy, and if 3/4 have a second car permit at £60 a throw, that works out at approx £100,000 out of thin air....duh!

Christine said...

Colm: The owners of the land formerly occupied by the Eastgate. the Plasterers, and the PSA depot at 280 Liverpool Road probably would not have been willing to offer up that land for a free parking lot for the locals? Let alone the Crossway Point site.......

Your figure of 2200 dwellings includes Orts Road estate and the existing residents' parking zone. Why not ban cars and parking permits across the entire Newtown diamond for husbands, fiances, sons and fathers and then parking would be easy?

colm daly said...

The main reason why there is a problem in the non-permit zone East of Cholmeley Road is because the Council refuses to properly enforse permit parking in those roads that have chosen it. Those from permit roads who have have two cars (and I hear there are those who have more) have little or no incentive to pay the extra £60pa, not while they can avail of the freedom to park in our non-permit zone. We were lead to believe that they would be 'controlled' but are they? They are not, and consequently they choke up our non-permit spaces with their second or third or fourth car with impunity. Instead of tackling that problem head-on the Council proposes instead that we (from the non-permit zone) must subscribe to the very same defective controls? Absurdly this means that the innocent are punished for the excesses of the guilty!