PARKING PERMITS – RENEWAL TIME ALREADY

If, like many on the street, you bought your annual CPZ permit last spring, it’ll very soon be time to renew it.

There have been reports on a Brixton blog that some permit holders in that part of the borough didn’t receive reminders. They consequently found themselves with expired parking permits, rewarded by a parking ticket on the windscreen.

This was remedied after appeal, but it shouldn’t have happened, obviously.

The letter that came with the annual permit last April stated:

“Shortly before your permit expires, we will write to the address that your permit is registered to and provide you with all the information you need to know about how to renew your permit.”

We recommend keeping an eye open for the letter, and taking action if it fails to appear before the current permit expires  –  which in our case is 13 April.

 

Postscript / Further warning:

A neighbour reports a correspondence with some Council jobsworths, mediated via Cllr Jim Dickson, which contains the following immortal words:

“I’m afraid there is no statutory obligation on part of the Council to send [reminders] out, but it is done as a matter of courtesy. Essentially, it is the permit holder’s responsibility as the resident to renew the permit before the date expires.

Although the council is not obligated to send out reminder notices, we understand that the reminder service is extremely useful to residents. Subsequently, we’re upgrading the current permit reminder service and will be bringing in email and letter reminders very shortly.”

 

 

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SO IS THE CPZ NEARLY HERE?

We are told that it will start for real on 14 April. Hard to believe: with just 9 working days to go, there’s a lot to be done here on the ground to put everything in place. Nevertheless, I have bought my permit. I am a trusting soul, yes?

 

Buying the permit is a slightly odd experience. It almost works as it should!

 

But not quite. If you apply on-line (as I imagine most of us will do: the thought of queuing up at a customer service centre is tantamount to a death wish…), it’s advisable to register first.

 

Then as you proceed through the successive screens you are met with a map showing the bit of the overall Herne Hill CPZ you think you are applying for, as indicated by your address and postcode. However, it’s the WRONG MAP,  it shows a different part of the whole Herne Hill CPZ zone.

 

But … IGNORE THIS, and proceed as if it were correct. That’s what I was told by a helpful guy at the town hall, and it seems to have worked. IGNORE THE MAP.

Finally you pay and can download a temporary permit. (They know the system shows the wrong map; they are trying to fix this…. Amazon it’s not….)

Separately I had to scan and upload some identity proof documents: tiresome, but straightforward. I did this a day later. In due course the permit will arrive in the post, they say.

I thought I would share this by way of encouragement. Feel free to blame Lambeth, not me,  however, if implementation is delayed.

 

UPDATE Sunday 6 April:

The white lines are going down.  No signage up yet, nor meters.  People’s cross-over access being absurdly over-protected, with yellow lines extending beyond their properties’ frontage and into their neighbours’ (see picture).

Yellow line protecting cross-over invades neighbours' frontage & eats up usable parking space.
Yellow line protecting cross-over invades neighbours’ frontage & eats up usable parking space.

THE CPZ PARKING METER SCANDAL

It has come to light that the parking meters in the ‘existing’ CPZ are playing funny tricks on visitors who try to buy a parking ticket for the two hours 12:00 – 14:00. Nominally @ £3 per hour = £6.

Ah but there’s a trick:

You can either ….

Pay £6 at mid-day and only get a printed ticket showing an hours’ worth of parking.Requiring another visit and another £3 to avoid a ticket.

Or you can …

Pay £3 at mid-day and get an hour of parking requiring a return visit an hour later to pay a further £3 for the next hour.

Crazy nonsense. The sort of thing you’d expect in a third-world country … or Lambeth, of course.

Truly, we are ruled by idiots and scoundrels.

CPZ UPDATE

The long-running farce that is Lambeth’s implementation of the Herne Hill CPZ continues to entertain those of us who have sight of the Council’s regular communications on the subject.

In the coming days we can expect the minutes of the meeting that Council officers and ward councillors held with residents on 4 February. Some brave neighbours attended, most of us saw little point. We will share these minutes when received.

As to enforcement of the recently extended parts of the Zone – the streets including Rollscourt Avenue and Shardcroft Avenue for instance  –   the Council suggested that 6th January was the enforcement start date. But that did not happen uniformly.  So the current state is that no-one appears to know whether and where the recently extended Zone is legally enforceable or not. The Council claims that it is being enforced, but there are several areas inside the Zone where bays are unclearly marked and designated, or not marked at all, so no-one can tell what rules apply in these sections.

This is angering residents who in good faith bought parking permits only to see their streets once again invaded by commuters parking for free.

To cap it all, we now learn that the Council have just got round to ordering the necessary missing signage from their contractors  –  many weeks after the Zone was supposed to start before Christmas!

Meanwhile those of us in those streets which recently voted to be included in the Zone wait to hear when we might expect this to happen. The legal consultation period closed a couple of weeks ago.

VOTE YES TO THE INTRODUCTION OF RESIDENTS’ PARKING IN FAWNBRAKE AVENUE

…  AND STOP NON-RESIDENTS PARKING IN OUR STREET

Herne Hell CPZ
Herne Hell CPZ

The council have sent us a voting form which needs to be completed and sent back before 27th  November .

Don’t wait and miss the deadline, do it now. vote YES or face parking misery in the future.

The new parking zone in Poplar Walk, Shardcroft and Kestrel has not yet been implemented, despite what the Council says. Even if we can park in  Fawnbrake Avenue  now, we’ll find it much more difficult  once that parking zone is enforced in December. Christmas chaos,  following the implementation, will be just be the beginning of  Fawnbrake residents’ parking nightmare.

The only way we can stop this is to vote YES for a parking zone in  Fawnbrake Avenue  now. So …

Stop neighbours from Ferndene, Poplar Walk, Kestrel and Shardcroft dumping their cars in  Fawnbrake because they want to avoid buying a parking permit.

Stop commuters and the car dealers of Loughborough Junction treating our street like a free car park.

Stop holidaymakers parking in  Fawnbrake before they head off for two weeks in the sun.

Residents have told us about:

  • A mother who can’t go shopping with her very young children because she can’t leave them in the car when she comes back to unload
  • A woman who needs her car to run her business but can’t park outside her house when she returns from work
  • Elderly relatives who can’t come to see their children in Fawnbrake because they can no longer get a parking space.

SO VOTE FOR RESIDENTS’ PARKING IN  FAWNBRAKE AVENUE.
LET’S GET OWNERSHIP OF OUR STREET BACK!

CPZ UPDATE 15 NOVEMBER

Confusion continues. It’s almost as if Lambeth’s officers and Ward Councillors were deliberately trying to make things as unclear as possible.

Some of the parking meters are now in place. Others will follow as Lambeth’s suppliers get round to delivering and installing them.  It’s not clear, though, when they will come into operation.  Lambeth have just admitted that they don’t know, because they are dependent on their suppliers. Letters will be sent, but no-one knows when.

This means  that the new CPZ is still not actually in operation, nor can it be enforced.

This in turn means that the true impact of the new Zone, in terms of parking displacement to neighbouring streets, can’t actually be assessed, and won’t be clear until after it starts in earnest and the traffic wardens are out and about with their little tickets.

Yet, yet  … Lambeth have asked us to vote on extending the CPZ to the streets that could be affected,and return our voting papers, BEFORE the new Zone on Poplar Walk, Kestrel Avenue, Rollscourt Avenue etc is up and working. We did warn them against this back-to-front timing but inevitably Lambeth, though claiming to be a “co-operative council”, took no notice.

It’s like a TV farce about local government. But a painful farce, as it damages people’s lives.

Meanwhile, if you have the consultation papers, don’t forget to vote. Unlike local government elections, this one really does matter.

THE PARKING CRISIS IS ALMOST HERE. PLEASE VOTE YES ON THE CPZ CONSULTATION!

 A message from concerned residents in Gubyon and Fawnbrake Avenues

We have just received a questionnaire from Lambeth, asking whether we now want to be included in the extended Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). This will be aimed particularly at Fawnbrake Avenue and Gubyon Avenue.

You might think we’ve been consulted enough on this issue, and that it’s clear that most people didn’t want it.

You might also think that the Council have handled the whole affair with stunning incompetence.True.

But the game has since changed:

–          The Council is now implementing a CPZ in most neighbouring streets: in Poplar Walk, Kestrel Avenue, Rollscourt Avenue, Heron Road and Shardcroft Avenue, because residents there voted in favour. The parking bays have been marked out; the Council are just waiting for the Pay & Display meters to be installed then the wardens will start enforcing the CPZ. This will deny use of those streets between the hours of 12 and 2 pm (unless you’re on the spot to buy a ticket) to commuters, visitors and to residents who decline to buy a permit. And to residents of other streets too. This street-by-street implementation is crazy, but Lambeth won’t consider an alternative.

–          So already, many residents’ and visitors’ cars have been displaced to outside the new Zone, making parking acutely difficult for residents in Gubyon and some parts of Fawnbrake. We’re seeing long-term parking on our street by car owners who live within the Zone, denying space to us and our neighbours. And once enforcement starts properly, it’s plain that these problems will become intolerable. Commuters and visitors will have nowhere else to go except Gubyon (99% full already), Fawnbrake and any remaining slots on Brantwood. Meanwhile, parking on the streets inside the new Zone is really painless, even though enforcement hasn’t yet started.

Already we’re hearing of mothers with young children who can’t park anywhere near home; neighbours with elderly parents who daren’t visit; neighbours who won’t  go out in their cars for fear of having nowhere to park when they return; builders who drive away because they can’t park.

We strongly believe these classic displacement problems will get worse once the Zone is working fully. And if the street did vote NO again, it could a very long time before the Council would reconsider extending the zone, even if the predicted chaos ensues and residents find they aren’t able to park in their own street any more. Or indeed pay to park in a neighbouring street either.

So reluctantly (and despite the cost of the annual permit)  we think our street should vote in favour of the Zone being extended to Fawnbrake and Gubyon. PLEASE be sure to complete and return the Council’s voting form by the deadline and VOTE YES, even if you don’t own a car. It may be our last chance to save our street from parking nightmares that will make our lives a misery and even affect the value of our properties.

This plea goes also to these neighbours who have off-road parking. Your parking problems are solved, but your visiting friends, relations and tradespeople will be affected by the chaos that’s about to hit us, unless we have controlled parking. If the extension of CPZ is agreed, you won’t have to purchase a permit,  but it will mean that you can buy visitor permits when you have builders & visitors.

Feel free to post comments.