CPZ REVIEW BY LONDON BOROUGH OF HOUNSLOW - February 2002

Peter Eversden of the Chiswick Protection Group on the review of parking in the area

PARKING POLICY

The Hounslow Council policy for controlled parking is unacceptable. The first aim is to ration permits by price but in Chiswick there is no need to do so, as the officerís review of current CPZ schemes has shown ample amounts of unused kerb space. The exception may be the EC/1 zone due to its small size and the business permit demand within it. Public transport accessibility in the east end of the borough is stated as a reason to charge residents there more to park. That is illogical. People in Chiswick use their cars in the area: public transport is not relevant to many of their journeys.

 

Hounslow's described as "unacceptable."
They have as much reason to keep a car as the residents of Hounslow Town Centre and there is no excuse to charge them twice the amount in Chiswick for a resident permit for parking. It is unfair and discriminatory.

The CPZ review report states in Appendix 5 that the £75 resident fee in Chiswick has been reduced to £70. This is partly offset by the cost of a second and third permit being increased by £15 and £55 respectively and the P&D/meter charges being raised to one pound per hour.

The increases in charges and the reduction in meter parking from two hours to one hour were challenged by amenity groups when the Traffic Orders were advertised last year, without Council response.

The traders, businesses and shop keepers in Chiswick need help to survive yet they and their customers are charged more than in other town centres.

More sections of parking for Pay & Display only are needed just off the High Road. The current triple usage sections which the Council includes in CPZs are occupied to a great extent all day by residents or businesses, restricting the parking for those using the shops and businesses.

The Council seems to have taken funds from Section 106 allocations for CPZ implementation without reference to the Area Committee, even though the Head of Finance had written in August 2000 about the Central Chiswick CPZ that 'The implementation of the schemes will be funded from a combination of income earned in the year of implementation and drawings from the Parking Reserve Account.' The Council now states that the Central Chiswick scheme was actually funded from the contributions of the Chiswick Business Park developer and there is no money now for the implementation of the West Chiswick or Old Chiswick CPZ schemes.

The policy to sell a large number of Business permits does not seem to accord with the Councilís obligations under the Road Traffic Reduction Act, nor the Mayorís Transport Strategy for the GLA. There is no excuse for the Council to issue more than one or two business permits for each small business unless there are workers who have to use their vehicle to transport goods or to make trips during the working day on essential business requirements.

There is nothing wrong with there being some spare parking space found in the streets at the time of the Councilís surveys. Residents expect to use their cars during the day and find space when they return. Many school-run and station-run trips are made between 8:30am and 9am when business permit holders may see empty resident parking spaces. That does not mean that a lot of those spaces are not required by householders.

The Council policy should not be to maximise parking revenue and profits but to set charges at a minimum to cover the cost of operating and enforcing the permit system, as required by the Government's 1988 Guidance on Traffic Management and Parking.

PROPOSED SCHEME CHANGES

Officers propose to change some resident parking into shared parking. This is generally unacceptable in most zones as there are unused business permit parking spaces recorded within them. No changes can be justified in East Chiswick, Bedford Park, Mid Chiswick or Central Chiswick. In the EC/1 zone there should be a full review by residents and businesses to help design any amendments.

The report fails to fully record the surplus business parking space in the zones. For example, it states that the available space in Rupert Road in Bedford Park is zero, whereas there are twenty to twenty-five spaces every day which are unused in the triple parking sections in that road. The report then recommends that three roads which join that road all have part of their resident parking converted to dual usage for the benefit of business permit holders. No such changes are required or wanted.

In East Chiswick the report records seventeen or eighteen spare spaces for business parking in both South Side and Beverly Road, yet then recommends converting to dual usage some current residentsí bays in roads that are crossed by those empty ones.

The Central Chiswick and Mid Chiswick zones are recorded with spare business parking but in locations not wanted by the business permit holders. No parking changes are wanted by residents in those areas. The minimum needs of businesses should be met but not to the detriment of residents, their visitors and those looking for Pay & Display facilities.

Peter Eversden, Chiswick Protection Group - 26 February 2002

 

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