Dismay Over Community 'Divided' Over CPZ
Well attended meeting on Grove Park CPZ discusses the controversy
A row over the introduction of controlled parking has divided a community in Chiswick with friends and neighbours falling out and a degree of “personal antagonism” developing, local councillors have stated.
At a meeting to discuss the contentious introduction of a CPZ for an area in Grove Park, Councillors Sam Hearn and Robert Oulds said it was very sad to see how the issue had divided the Grove Park Community and set street against street.
Cllr Ed Mayne speaks to the meeting
The meeting in St. Paul's Church in Grove Park, which was chaired by BBC presenter Paul Lewis (Radio Four 'Moneybox'), was well attended with over 100 local people present. It was organised by a local group opposed to CPZ in Grove Park. Councillor Ed Mayne, whose controversial decision to approve a partial CPZ for Park Road and part of Staveley Road as the Council's lead member on parking, also attended and robustly defended his actions.
The statutory consultation on the matter will end on March 22nd and people can still make their opinions known until that date. However Cllr Mayne can still use his designated powers to proceed with the CPZ. He said it would be subject to review after six months.
Some of the points discussed included the matter of displacement parking onto other roads which some residents said would eventually lead to more calls for CPZs.
Creating a CPZ in Park Road and (part of ) Staveley Road will lead to a loss of over 100 parking spaces in Park Road which currently has an on-street capacity of 305 spaces. With the introduction of the CPZ this will be reduced to 178, according to Mr. Satnam Sahota (Senior Traffic Officer in Hounslow Council). Asked about the timescale of the introduction of the CPZ he anticipated it could up be and running within two or three months.
Hounslow Council's Scrutiny Committee approved the limited (two hours per weekday) six month trial for controlled parking in Park Road and Staveley Road east in Grove Park at their January meeting.
Cllr Oulds and Cllr Hearne said it was unprecedented that a decision on a CPZ had not been taken by the locally elected representatives at the Chiswick Area Forum. They said Cllr Mayne had behaved in an undemocratic manner, an allegation which he denied.
One resident asked Cllr Mayne if it was true that he had relatives living in Park Road, to which he replied, "Yes". He said he found it "offensive" that people would think this had been linked to his decision to introduce a CPZ. He explained the background to the decision which he had taken in light of the introduction of the car-park charges for Chiswick House and Gardens and the possibility of displacement parking onto surrounding streets. He had been informed that if the Council wouldn’t take control of the car-park, it would revert to a private operator which might mean clamping. He thought it only right to have an informal consultation on the neighbouring streets.
Some residents from Elmwood Road said that when they proposed a CPZ for their area some years ago, they were informed that a "single street CPZ" would not be allowed , so why would a one and an half street CPZ be introduced?
At one stage there was disagreement between the local councillors and Cllr Ed Mayne about missing meetings to discuss the issue. Cllr Hearn said Cllr Mayne was new to the job and had not consulted local elected representatives and had missed meetings to discuss the CPZ. Cllr Mane said the matter had become “overly personal” with comments about missing meetings and it was not true to say local councillors had been excluded on the issue.
Cllr Oulds who is chairman of the Chiswick Area Forum, said Cllr Mayne was "bulldozing" this through in a completely undemocratic manner.
Cllr Oulds and Cllr Sam Hearn told the meeting that the scheme would lead to the displacement of parked vehicles into neighbouring streets. They also said that the proposal did not take into account research by the traffic department, presented to the Chiswick Area Forum on 20th November, 2012, that a CPZ in Park Road is likely to increase average traffic speeds and thus make the road less safe for all users, i.e. pedestrians and local residents. Cllr Mayne said safety was always an important issue and denied this was the case.
Residents from both ends of Park Road gave their personal experiences of parking in the area and how congestion had increased in recent years. One who lived near Chiswick station said the early morning commuters were not the problem, the local taxis took up several spaces and a CPZ would leave even fewer spaces, thus increasing pressure on the south end of the road.
Another local said that according to Department of Transport guidelines on local parking, local authorites should carry out an inventory of on and off-street parking before introducing CPZ. Mr. Sahota of the Coucil was asked if an inventory had been carried out and he replied ‘ No’ but he said he had never come across any inventory being required by DoT.
Other residents who were pro-CPZ said it was also a matter of safety not just inconvenience. There was reduced visibility from congestion and parked cars. Another said that with the new hostel about to be opened at Sutton Court Road and the application by Porshe to extend, residents in Elmwood Road would be affected by extra pressure for parking and might need to look for a CPZ.
One resident said were 57 spaces in CHG car park and even if everyone parked on the adjoining roads instead of the car-park there would still be fewer spaces lost than under the CPZ scheme and this did not make sense.
In 2011, the petition raised against the Grove Park / Strand On The Green CPZ raised 2,185 signatures, of which the Council have registered 2,101.
In 2010-11, total petitions received by the London Borough of Hounslow totalled 85 with the average signatures per petition at 336.
Most popular subjects (in order):
Environment – Leisure – 20
Environment – Parking – 18
Community Services – 12
Hounslow Homes – 10
March 15, 2013