Controlled Parking Zone for Herne Hill/Milkwood Road area - updates

Yesterday evening there was a meeting for stakeholders involved in the proposed extension to the CPZ for Herne Hill.

The Lambeth Transport and Highways department wanted to discuss the results from the second round of consultation about extending the CPZ currently in the north of the area further down south towards the station.

Unfortunately Lambeth Transport and Highways department failed to provide any of the results information prior to the meeting and did not have any spare copies of how the voting had gone at the meeting.

Of the two copies of the results that were available (one had been obtained specifically by e local resdient callling up the Transport Department and requesting the information) it was apparaent that some of the statistics on percentatges in favour or against for individual roads didn't actually add up correctly. Lambeth Transport and Highways have promised to go back and check their addition and issue the full corrected results. We will post them here for downloading as soon as they are available.

In additoon there was not provided the breakdown of voting by postcode so as to get a better idea as to what stretches within a street were in favour, no overall view or against a CPZ. This information is available to the Transport and Highways department but was not provided to the meeting. Lambeth Transport and Highways department promised to send it out and we will post it here for everyones information.

One enterprising local resident has done a full survey of the area to see what houses have off-street parking already and it will be interesting to see if there is any correlation as to voting patterns and existing off-street parking availability. This information will be available here as soon as it is sent through for download.

There is a public meeting to be held on the 27th October to review the findings of the survey and decide the next steps.

Many local residents gave up their evening to contribute to the meeting and had done a great deal of work prior to the meeting which was shared with all. It was a shame that key information was not made available by Lambeth Traffic and Transport department to make the evening more productive.

Update 6.00 p.m. Wednesday - files now available for download:

Herne Hill Second stage consultation final report

Factors affecting CPZ consultation.

Comments

We have a CPZ in Josephine Avenue and were promised a review after 6 months.

The original consultation questionnaire was loaded to gain the maximum period, e.g. only asking when parking started in the morning and when the cars went away in the evening?

All we needed was a one hour restriction to stop commuters using our street, but instead we have no parking all day. Now nobody can park in our street including plumbers, builders, tradesmen or friends who just want to pop in for a cup of tea.

Lambeth's CPZ scheme seems to be skewed to maximise council income (and parking attendant employment) and ignores residents needs.

If this does happen in Herne Hill MAKE SURE YOU GET THE REVIEW. We have been asking for over four years now and still they are fobbing us off.

Poets Corner suffered the same fate. They were never given the option of limited times, just the entire day, take it or leave it. Thankfully Lambeth have realised that there are more options and for the Herne Hill extension they are suggesting a range of times from all day to a one hour or two hour block and also asking what times of day the block should be set for. Needless to say there is little agreement between residents apart from few wanting an all day version.

I am the local resident mentioned above who rang Lambeth to request the consultation report and I'd like to add some comments here.   I've studied the report in some detail and Ok its not perfect but it is extremely interesting, and presents a real challenge for the Council in that the results are wildly different across the area studied.  In our road (Rollscourt Avenue) there is an overwhelming vote for a CPZ - 75% - while there is clearly much less or variable support in some other streets.   Reading the comments quoted, there appears to be a stark divide between those who do not use their cars in the daytime and therefore say 'there is no need for a CPZ', against those who do need to (school run, collecting grandchildren, heavy shopping etc) who have found it increasingly impossible to park nearby on return from any car journey, and have therefore voted for it despite the cost.    In our street there is nose to tail parking between 8.30 to 5pm on weekdays, with not only users of the local school, GP and nursery but communters and worst of all Southwark residents from the other side of Herne Hill who wish to avoid paying their CPZ charge.   

I have a great deal of sympathy for the Council in this situation and was very pleased to hear from those attending this meeting that it may be possible to implement a smaller CPZ to include those streets that want it so much, while respecting the views of others who do not.     The point about off-street parking helps to interpret the survey results.  While the view in our road is quite clear, there are several other streets which are more marginal one way or the other (e.g. Cosbycote, Woodquest, Shardcroft) and my hope is that the public meeting on the 27th Oct will give an opportunity for them in particular to discuss whether they wish to be included in this smaller CPZ or not.  

The survey also shows that the great majority of people in streets that voted for the CPZ favoured the 2 hour option so this is the most likely outcome.  This should allay fears from other posts re all day CPZs and appears to work very well on the Southwark side.

So the outcome I'm crossing fingers for is a 2 hour CPZ in streets that voted yes (and including those which said yes if a CPZ goes ahead in neighbouring streets) while still excluding other streets polled.

Beth Taylor

We are conducting a controlled parking zone consultation in the Herne Hill area. A controlled parking zone is an effective tool used to reduce commuter parking issues and provide an improved environment within a wider area.

The original consultation questionnaire was loaded to gain the maximum period, e.g. only asking when parking started in the morning and when the cars went away in the evening?

All we needed was a one hour restriction to stop commuters using our street, but instead we have no parking all day. Now nobody can park in our street including plumbers, builders, tradesmen or friends who just want to pop in for a cup of tea.

Lambeth's CPZ scheme seems to be skewed to maximise council income (and parking attendant employment) and ignores residents needs.

If this does happen in Herne Hill MAKE SURE YOU GET THE REVIEW. We have been asking for over four years now and still they are fobbing us off.

Re the earlier post today, the council's recommendation at the public meeting on 27th October was for a 2 hour zone in only those streets that voted for a CPZ plus Cosbycote because they voted for if neighbouring streets were included.   There was no support at the meeting for an all-day option.   So hopefully we will not have the problems that all-day zones bring.

Lambeth used to refuse 2 hour CPZs outright when Mufu Durowoju was in charge of CPZ creation, but since he left Lambeth has reluctantly accepted them e.g. the Abbeville Road area, while keeping as quiet as possible about them. Attempts to have a 1 hour CPZ have been met with "it can't pay" yet Wandsworth manages to make their 1 hour zones pay and insisted they were not cross-subsidised when I asked a few years back. They stagger the times in such a way that wardens progress logically from one neighbouring area to another, thus they are able to patrol several more areas than they would do for all-day CPZs - so from 10.30 to 2.30 they would cover 4 areas as opposed to Lambeth's two. They also offer 1 hour CPZs openly as an option to residents in CPZ publicity materials without applying pressure or excuses, unlike Lambeth. From observations in my job which requires me to drive around south London, Pay & Display in Lambeth averages £3 per hour, while in Wandsworth it averages £2 per hour. Presumably Wandsworth is either more efficient or not required to use parking charges to fill holes in the budget elsewhere. It is also worth noting that Wandsworth has gained a far higher acceptance rate for CPZs than in Lambeth and few streets in Wandsworth have no CPZ and I'd guess that is because Wandsworth is more sympathetic to residents' wishes, so environmentally they are more successful than Lambeth which appears to treat CPZs mainly as a money making exercise. My resident's permit this year is over 40% more expensive than last year, as are Visitor Permits. When I last checked (not recently, I admit) Greenwich provided residents with the option of buying Visitor Permits for only 4 hours at half the price of an all day permit, and their Residents Permits were a lot cheaper than Lambeth's. However Greenwich was one of those rare boroughs that was employing traffic wardens in-house instead of contracting out their parking. The cheaper costs were also partly due to them operating a less frequent patrol service. A manager explained that when a CPZ was new they would swamp the area with wardens and then gradually reduce the frequency of patrols and they found that worked. If residents reported any problems they would deal with problems in that area. Sounds sensible and better value with no shareholders to satisfy or directors' dividends to fund. Where I live we have Lambeth wardens every couple of hours, and we know that if we accidentally get a tyre an inch onto a kerb it will mean a fine. We're not given the option of having less frequent patrols and cheaper permits. However my overall view is that because parking was so difficult before the CPZ, having a scheme is the least worst option. But for an up-to-date picture, do ring up some other boroughs' parking departments and compare current prices of Residents Permits, Visitor Permits and Pay & Display in both all day and one hour CPZs.

I have written to the Herne Hill ward councillors (to Jim, cc Carol and Leanne and posted the letter below in the forums, as people found it difficult to find I am posting it here as well, please post your comments and try to attand the meeting on Tuesday 6th Dec 6.30pm at the Carnegie Library or write to the councillors.

To: Cllrs: Jim Dickson, Carol Boucher and Leanne Targett-Parker

Dear Jim

I am very concerned at the latest developments in the Herne Hill Phase 2 CPZ “consultation”, despite the residents voting almost two to one against a CPZ extension on a 21% response rate and almost all the written comments strongly against in the survey commissioned by the Council and carried out last June. The officers at the consultation meeting held on 27th October said they are minded to develop a CPZ in Poplar Walk (south end, 16 voting yes out of 56 addresses) and Rollscourt Avenue (16 also voting yes out of 68 addresses) as the residents in these two small streets who voted were marginally in favour, and to include Cosbycote Avenue as they voted in favour if a CPZ was developed in an adjoining street! Despite all the major streets, Fawnbrake, Gubyon, Kestrel and Milkwood voting heavily against. This has created an issue in the southern end of Kestrel Avenue where a few residents are now asking to be included in the CPZ as they fear chaos in their street following such an ill advised extension. The Council have now called a meeting just for Kestrel Avenue residents next Tuesday 6th December to pursue their “divide and rule” strategy to force a CPZ on the residents.

The meeting held on 27th October was attended by about fifty residents most of whom were clearly against the proposal. While there are problems in Poplar Walk as it adjoins the Phase 1 CPZ (people are clearly parking there to avoid paying permit and visitor fees in Ferndene and Haredale) and pressures in Rollscourt with its proximity to the major local GP Surgery on Kestrel Avenue requiring staff and visitor parking, the Southwark CPZ (in Ruskin Walk and adjoining streets on the other side of the main road), Herne Hill and Ruskin House schools’ staff and parents. None of these problems would be solved by extending the CPZ as many residents pointed out at the meeting. The Council is creating a domino effect which will in time result in residents having no choice as streets are picked off one by one making parking impossible on the streets adjoining the CPZ as residents, tradesmen and visitors park around the corner to avoid paying.

A lot of serious points were made by residents at the meeting in October particularly:

  • the need to review the existing scheme CPZ which leaves streets in the existing CPZ empty and those just outside the CPZ full
  • that the yellow lines on the roads entering the residential streets at the main junctions with Herne Hill and Milkwood Road are too long and more parking or doctors/disabled bays could be provided while still allowing delivery and other larger vehicles to navigate
  • that a CPZ would reduce the amount of available parking as bays are marked out and more yellow lines painted on the corners of the residential streets
  • the excessive charges for residents and visitor permits and year on year massive increases in charges
  • the need for doctors, health and care workers to freely move around the area for home visits (18% of those completing the CPZ survey answered affirmatively to the question “Do you have any long-standing illness, disability or infirmity?”
  • the proposed system to pay by phone in a CPZ with proposed 12 noon -2pm charges will almost certainly make the area attractive for commuter parking as anyone can then park early in the morning, then phone to pay (for just 2 hours parking - for a whole day) returning to their vehicle in the evening
  • the need for an integrated approach with the traffic calming proposals (immediately refuted by the Chair stating that they were an entirely different set of proposals and consultation process)

Despite these and many other points made not favourable to the CPZ the officers stated that their plan was to introduce a CPZ in Rollscourt Ave, Cosbycote Ave and Poplar Walk and promised to “look into” the points made by residents. After hearing this many people made the point that such a proposal would create chaos in adjoining streets. Not surprisingly the officers’ references to the “democratic process” and “a holistic approach” were met with gasps and sighs from many of those present. Since then the only response from the Council has been to call a meeting of Kestrel Avenue residents to discuss including them in the scheme too.

The officers’ analysis of the problems is deeply flawed; frequent references were made by them at the October meeting to “commuter parking”. If there was a problem with commuters then it would be logical to expect that the streets nearest the railway station (Milkwood, Gubyon, Shardcroft and Woodquest) would have voted for a CPZ however they voted against. A view of the area at different times of the day shows the highest parking stress late at night as residents park for the night with a constant flow of visitors, tradesmen, doctors, health and education workers parking during the day, as well as a mini rush around 9am and 3.30pm onwards as parents deliver and collect their children from Herne Hill and Ruskin House schools grandparents and shared nannies. In Poplar Walk parking is busy but bays in the adjoining CPZ in Ferndene and Haredale are largely empty during the day, with the parking bays in Ferndene alongside Ruskin Park (where almost all residents have off-street parking) totally empty all the time except the last hundred metres of the Demark Hill end used largely by outpatients to Kings. Then there is the admitted (at the meeting) “informal” non enforcement of the zone around the northern end of Poplar Walk (by the Catholic Church) where the Phase 1 zone was installed and then suspended with the flimsy covers over the signs since blown off or destroyed by the weather. This leads to massive confusion in that area resulting in people parking in the southern (unrestricted) end of the street.

I would like to suggest that a proper dialogue is initiated with the residents to look in more detail at the issues involved and to allow a holistic approach with the traffic calming and a proper review of the Phase1 scheme. There are opportunities for creating additional parking for doctors, health workers, and staff at Herne Hill and Ruskin House schools through better utilising all the empty parking bays in the council flats in Rollscourt Avenue and the almost empty car park of the 76 Herne Hill flats (next door to the GP surgery). There is also a row of what looks like unused garages in Woodquest Ave preventing parking on the street in front of them and other opportunities around Oborne Close. It also seems grossly unfair that the Council has in the past authorised crossovers so some people have built garages/off street parking taking away road space and evading any possible future charges. Lambeth Council in the past also granted planning permission for the expansion of the GP Surgery and the establishment of Ruskin House School and has a responsibility in this matter. Special bays could also be scattered across the area reserved for doctors, health workers and disabled at very low cost and minimal environmental intrusion.

Efforts should now be made to start a proper dialogue on the issues raised as I’m convinced that the current proposals will make things worse, any current work on the CPZ extension should be suspended or abandoned to allow this to happen. I’m sure both Council and residents will want to find solutions to the problems that will make the area a better place to live and work.

With the overall majority of those voting in the area against a CPZ extension (228 against, 129 for, with 8 having no opinion, out of 1,767 addresses sent questionnaires) . For the two streets who voted in favour (16 out of 68 addresses in Rollscourt and 16 out of 56 addresses in Poplar Walk, with 4 for, and 7 against in Cosbycote - hardly an overwhelming majority even in those streets) to call for a mini CPZ in their streets plays right into the Council's hands to force a CPZ on the area through the well documented domino effect. This proposal will clearly create chaos for the vast majority of residents, except those in the two or three streets included who will of course enjoy empty streets as we can see already in Ferndene Avenue. A more sophisticated approach which looks at the area as a whole is needed.

In our area (Arlingford & Brailsford roads) when a CPZ was proposed the plans showed long double yellow lines extending from the corners and single yellow lines between parking bays. When this was queried the council quickly agreed to shorter double lines at the corners and no single yellow lines. Basically it sounds like they are trying it on in order to maximise penalty charge income. As a heating engineer I find it extremely difficult to park in the area of the proposed CPZs and I would much rather there was a one or two hour zone there than none at all, but I can understand why residents reject it when council officials and/or councillors insist on converting what should be an environmental scheme into a largely tax raising enterprise. Do you think people would vote for a CPZ if a) it was moderately priced for residents, visitor permits and Pay & Display b) yellow lines were no longer than necessary c) phone parking wasn't permitted in a 1 or 2 hour zone thus inviting computers to come and park rather than deterring them. I'm surprised you think there is little commuter parking so close to a Zone 2 station. Don't forget 'hobby' cars - cars that people seldom use so they don't mind parking them way out of their own (CPZ) area. Aren't there cars that sit in one place from one month to the next? They might belong to local people, but a lot probably don't. You might complain about a future domino effect, but it will already be happening. From comments made it appears that residents consider that the council's offer - here's a bad expensive scheme, take it or leave it - is the only choice. The council should be made to explain why they cannot offer a user friendly cheap CPZ that would give environmental benefits to residents, because a well run CPZ does do that. It would be possible if they would allow less frequent patrols as is done in Lambeth's housing estates where parking is provided to residents more cheaply than to street residents. Of course the latter is run by the Housing Department so Transport will deny knowing anything about it. Ignorance is bliss, or perhaps just convenient. One could argue that street residents are being discriminated against as council estate parking appears not to be required to subsidise the general council budget whereas as street residents are.