CPZ – THE COUNCIL REACTS TO OUR CAMPAIGN

The Council’s Head of Transportation, Mr Abu Barkatoolah, has just written to some of us as follows:

“I have had a discussion with Cllr Dickson and Carolyn Dwyer (Director of Communities, Housing and Environment) and we note the sensitivity of the situation and the parking difficulties residents of both Fawnbrake Ave and Gubyon Ave are experiencing. We are sorry that you and other residents continue to experience parking problems.

“Cllr Dickson wrote to you and outlined a timescale for a proposal to include the two roads in the current CPZ.  I understand that you and other residents are not satisfied with such timescale. Cllr Dickson has recently asked me to review the timeline and identify if the extension could be progressed sooner.  I have looked at the activities the Council has to undertake to arrive at an agreed scheme and the duration of these activities.

“Unfortunately, these activities cannot be ignored and I have shortened some of the activities as far as practicable and I have set out a suitable timeline which is realistic and achievable given limited staff resources.  The Council will also consider previous level of support when a public consultation is carried out.

Key Activities   Timeline
1. Public consultation ( this has to be carried out to seek the level of support in the streets outside of the new cpz, whilst it is not a legal process it remains good practice and provides evidence to progress to the next stage)    November 2013
2. Analysis, reporting and  approval    December 2013/early  January 2014
3. Statutory consultation ( this is the legal process which the Council  has to carry out, this process may  result in local objections and will require consideration and a decision made). We cannot advance on this work until we know the extent of the extension.    January 2014- March 2014
4. Implementation ( this will be through our  funding  allocation in 2014/15)    April 2014-May 2014

“The council is committed to work with local residents to arrive at a solution to your on-going problems and unfortunately we cannot shorten the timeline. I will prioritise resources to embark on a consultation for November as per the above schedule and progress other activities.  I can confirm that we have made an allocation through our capital programme to introduce an agreed scheme early in the new financial year and this fits within the timeline for completing all key activities.”

Comment: this is evidence that our lobbying is working.

But can we wait until next summer for the situation to be put right? We should continue to collect evidence of the damage caused to our streets and  lives by the piece-meal implementation of the CPZ, as potential input to the ‘public consultation’ phase (next month).

Remember, it has not really come into effect (e.g. no ticket machines) , so the full impact may not be evident yet.

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6 thoughts on “CPZ – THE COUNCIL REACTS TO OUR CAMPAIGN

  1. I’ve only worked on national government consultations rather than local authority ones and, while it’s true they’re statutory, I’m not sure the council is obliged to consult again and draw this out in the way they’ve outlined. They’ve already consulted on the issue
    and had more evidence since so they should be able to move more rapidly. Usually with a consultation you have to show that you’ve gathered views, but then you take account of them *alongside other evidence*. They’re not a poll and aren’t necessarily decisive. For example, all the residents could say they don’t want a CPZ but if there was other evidence from local business or road use data that showed it would be a positive thing, you could still go ahead. You can also reducethe length of time you run cconsultationfor if there is urgency or you can target you consultation at a small group.
    To be clear, I’m not an expert and have looked at this kind of process in a while, but it might be a good idea to query this if you in touch with the council.

  2. It’s good that Lambeth is, apparently, monitoring the situation but the ‘imbecility’ – as the moderator puts it elsewhere on this blog – was actually triggered by the controls clumsily introduced in Ferndene, alongside the park. Had the council not heavy-handedly implemented controls on both sides of this road (one side would have sufficed), neighbouring streets would not have the challenges they face today. Parking spaces in Ferndene (uniquely blessed with a surfeit of roadside parking space with homes built along only one side) is now not pulling its weight; most of the charged spaces there lie empty and we all know where the parkers have gone instead… Correcting this glaring error would solve many problems.
    Existing problems in Fawnbrake however are compounded by thoughtless parking. Why do so many drivers leave yawning great gaps between their own car and the next one along, or the yellow lines at the end of the road… gaps that are big but just too small to accommodate another vehicle?
    The same goes for the white lines in front of homes that have nabbed valuable public parking space with private pavement crossovers; it’s bad enough that these white lines stretch way beyond the actual opening of the hard-standings but it makes it even worse when parkers leave an additional half-car’s length, presumably for fear of trespassing on the line. These lines are not enforceable; it’s not illegal to park over the end of ‘land grab’ lines as long as you’re not blocking the driveway; they are not like yellow lines.
    More considerate parking would at least ease our problems while these sledgehammer new controls bed down. Incidentally, I’m not shy about asking commuters who bag two spaces instead of one to budge up and they’re always happy to oblige when it’s explained why. We can at least help ourselves to some extent while we wait to see how the overall parking situation develops.

    1. I’m a little concerned that David Williams’ remarks don’t go unchallenged since they strike me as near to inciting anti-social parking behaviour. Let’s dispense with David’s points in the order he raises them to keep it simple. Firstly, the old stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off chestnut about Ferndene Avenue. If only those good folk would just remember their place in this world and re-subject themselves to the weekly influx of parkers, again, all would be like it was in the “good old days”. Unfortunately for David, those naughty folk of Ferndene have no intention of turning themselves back into an overflow car park for King’s College Hospital and I, for one, can see no good reason why they should have to just so that David and Co., can save themselves a paltry few hundred pounds a year. This is so boring; we’ve been here so many times before; why not read the whole blog before you post.

      Secondly: “Existing problems in Fawnbrake…compounded by…yawning gaps…” between cars etc., and so forth. It’s called being able to get in and out of a parking space without scratching anyone else’s car(s). Admittedly, we could pack ourselves in like so many metallic sardines; scrape a load of bumpers; upset a lot of neighbours and gain–what?–five or six car spaces, if that? That won’t fix the problem but simply provide a little more incentive for commuters to seek out a free park. In the meantime, one risks upsetting neighbours by parking them in so tightly, they can’t safely exit. We all where this leads: bumper wars!

      Thirdly: here I take exception to David’s language personally as somebody who has a drive on Fawnbrake Avenue. I have not “nabbed” or “land grab[ed]” (nor have I stolen, thieved, purloined or taken) anything of the sort and resent the imputation that I have. It’s called permitted development following a lawful planning procedure that is open to any other householder should they so wish to undergo the process and pay the expenses involved. Moreover, it is not “bad enough that these white lines stretch way beyond the actual opening of the hard-standing…” because that is determined by the Borough Traffic Officer to provide for turning space and visibility to ensure the safety of all concerned.
      Moreover, these white bars are enforceable if you intrude sufficiently to prevent me from using my driveway. I take a lenient view on those who like to “diss” the ends of my bar–because life’s too short, frankly–but you seem to be encouraging parkers to challenge driveway owners in some way. After all, they’re “not like yellow lines…”, I hear you argue, and you’re all just “land grab[ers]” anyway–not worthy of your respect–so why not intrude just that little bit more each time and dare them to speak to you about it; especially if they’re old or easily intimidated. Eh! David? My advice to any driveway owner on the Avenue who thinks they’re being challenged in this way to call Lambeth Parking and report it. Let the Traffic Warden decide. After all, I think they earn a percentage on every successful ticket.

      Finally, David’s “not shy”, it seems, when it comes to confronting those he believes commuters “who bag two spaces” to “budge up”. Once again, the implication being theft: “bag”, “grab”, “nab”. One wonders quite how many are “happy to oblige” or just intimidated? There are no parking restrictions on Fawnbrake Avenue. A “commuter” or anyone is perfectly within his/her right to park here in a way that they feel is safe and conforms with the Highway Code. Nobody has any right to challenge them by virtue of living on this Avenue and I sincerely urge residents not to risk potential disturbances of the peace by taking David’s example. I’ve no idea quite how many of us have the time to scurry around hounding those we believe–upon what evidence?–are “commuters”. They may be fellow residents or friends and family thereof. I’d advise against it unless you’re happy to present the evidence for your assumptions face to face. “Oh! You don’t look like you’re from around here…” and so and so forth. Perhaps we can give David a peek cap and we’ll all have Fawnbrake Avenue passports he can stamp on entry? It seems he has the time on his hands, at least.

      1. Having lived in Fawnbrake Avenue for more than 30 years and been involved in many local charities and organisations I thought I had seen it all. But the fiasco about parking takes the biscuit. For most of my time here parking was not a problem but changes in the composition of our community mean we have more people with more money and, so, more cars.
        I voted against the resident parking scheme but now reluctantly conclude we have to join in and vote “Yes”. The present situation is unbearable.
        Of course there are arguments on both sides and I would have hoped the debate could be courteous and friendly. So I was sorry to read Nick Baker’s blog. I am sure if he had reflected on it a bit more he would have couched his contribution in more temperate terms and been less personally offensive to David Williams, who, after all, was making some perfectly valid points.
        I think it’s fair for David to say that the Council should have left the Ruskin Park side of Ferndene Road as free parking. It stands mainly empty now as the residents either park on their driveways or their side of the street. I can’t see anything wrong with King’s College Hospital staff (or anyone else) parking there. That doesn’t make it an “overflow car park for King’s” as Nick asserts. As Nick says about Fawnbrake, “A “commuter” or anyone is perfectly within his/her rights to park here…”. Same applies in Ferndene, Nick, and if many parkers should work in King’s “so what?”.
        In his advocacy of converting front gardens on the even side of Fawnbrake to car-parking Nick protests rather too much. In my view, the overall impact of these developments is very negative. They make the streetscape look terrible, and remind me of all those dreary main roads we go through in West London where almost all gardens have been lost. Once attractive streets just look like parking lots. And all that hard-standing reduces the moisture going into the ground and increases run-off to the drains. Not entirely environmentally responsible.
        David makes a really telling point about the truly selfish and anti-social aspects of these driveways that really made Nick squeal. In order to ensure that the house owner has 24 hour parking outside their house they create entrances that effectively steals, thieves and purloins (to use Nick’s gloriously OTT language) previously available public space. I understand why people do it, but just because, as Nick says, it is lawful, it does not make it right or socially responsible. If all the even numbers in Fawnbrake follow this example it will just look dreadful and compound the problems for the folk on the other side of the street. It might come to that if we do not regulate street parking.
        It was when he rubbished David’s comments about the need for sensible tight parking and the impact of the long white lines outside the private cross-over drives, that I felt Nick needed a bit of a lie-down. In a street where parking is difficult it is infuriating when people park half a car length away from the white lines outside a cross-over drive, or, as I frequently notice outside my house, a Disabled Driver space.

        I am sure on re-reading his piece Nick will have regretted his silly remarks about poor old David needing a peaked cap in order to interrogate potential parkers about their bona fides to park here. Now, now…enough already!
        Unlike David, who has a job and does not, as Nick infers, have “time on his hands” to meddle with passports and such nonsense, I am retired and do. Several times recently I walked Fawnbrake Avenue at 4 30pm and could find no parking spaces, but by at the end of the working day there were always spaces. On one memorable day I counted 24!
        So we have a real commuter problem that will only go away if we have Resident Parking, and stop building private driveways!!
        I hope everyone will vote. Whatever the outcome we all will have to live with it. And continue to be good neighbours.

        Fred
        86 Fawnbrake Avenue

  3. Dear Fred,

    I’m sorry you felt the need to intercede in defense of David Williams. I’ll admit that I was a bit pointed and I’m sorry if I’ve offended. My so-called intemperance has really been a result of frustration over the interminable amount of time it has taken for a majority of folk in Fawnbrake Avenue to come to their senses, accept the inevitable and allow common sense to prevail. For some years now, I and others have been reiterating the arguments as to why a “Yes” vote was needed and I confess to loosing my patience with yet more time-wasting ideas (like “more considerate parking” and those blessed “white lines”) when it should be abundantly obvious what needed to be done in order for life on Fawnbrake Avenue to become, in your words, bearable again.

    All I can say is thank god enough of us have seen sense now and what a pleasure it is to walk down the Avenue without the oppressive congestion of non-residential cars and vans. My children can now cross the road without risking their lives by emerging from between densely packed vans and the whole place has taken on a cleaner, calmer aspect. I hope you’ll agree it’s already money well spent.

    I accept many of the points you wanted to defend on David’s behalf but, thankfully, we no longer need to debate them since sweet reason and Lambeth’s greed have finally won the day. Oh, why did it take so long?

    I would, however, like to defend myself again regarding your comments about driveways. In all honesty, I never wanted a driveway but felt I had been left with no option. The so-called “final” vote, back in 2012-13, on extended the CPZ to Fawnbrake Avenue was supposed to be just that: final. It was upon that statement (I think it was from Jim Dixon) that I based my decision to pay for a driveway because I could see very well the way things would deteriorate as parking pressures endlessly focused down on those remaining non-controlled streets. Now, the lesson I’ve learnt is that you can never believe the words of local politicians (in this case a Labour Politician) even though people are obliged to make decisions based upon their words. The paradox is that I wholly approve of the Fawnbrake Avenue’s wisdom in accepting the CPZ it’s just I hoped they’d be a little quicker about it.

    Finally, a word about planning and people’s personal opinions. I tire of pointing this out because I assume men of your and David’s age will have worked these things out for yourselves. However, here we go. It is precisely because folk differ in their opinions about what is “right or socially responsible”, to use your words, that we have a lawful planning process. It is the way civil society manages the gap between competing private opinion no matter how strongly felt they are by their holders. If there wasn’t a planning process nobody would ever dare risk capital if, for example, all their investment could be reversed because it wasn’t to Fred or Tom or Dick or Harry’s taste. You see? Development of any kind would cease. The house you live in might never have got built. As it is, the planning process is constantly evolving to accommodate changing views. So, for example, it required me to go to considerable additional expense building a huge soak-away under my drive precisely to absorb the run-off that has been recognized as contributing to flooding. So, while I really appreciate you pointing out to me, Fred, how “environmentally [i]responsible” I’ve been the truth is that the planning process is already one step ahead of you.

    Will I break up my drive and return it to a front garden now the CPZ has finally arrived? Here’s an offer: if every other driveway owner on the south side of Fawnbrake Avenue will agree to return theirs to garden I’ll do the same with mine. In the meantime, I’ll keep if for a few years and see if Lambeth hike the permit fees. Odds on that?

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