A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
I've recently found out that the new car sales 'we buy any car' on corner of sidney and green lanes is using melbourne as a 'storeroom' and currently there are at least 5 cars parked despite the business having a forecourt and rear yard. Whilst they are taxed they cannot be removed, however Enfield (0208 379 3856) advises that businesses cannot cause enviromental nuisance in the course of conducting their trade. So do call the council if you are affected. Is it time for limited CPZ?
Alan, I've read your reply carefully and it seems to me that your bottom line is that nothing can be done but anyway, we should all vote Boris out and take up bike-riding.
I would take issue with your statement that you "conducted extensive consultation with local residents". One postal survey does not constitute "extensive consultation". And as for the "democratic will", I think you are being disingenuous here. I was very surprised, at the time of the postal survey, at how quickly the area was leafleted by what appeared to be a well-organised and resourced anti-CPZ lobby. Their leaflet used many of the (false) arguments cited by Roland earlier in this discussion thread, it was very cleverly written, using very emotive language. The anti-CPZ lobby seemed amazingly able to devise, print, copy & distribute this leaflet at very short notice, leading me to think that there might well be a powerful body of people with a hidden agenda of some sort. Unsurprisingly, I think this leaflet swayed many people who had not thought the issue through properly or been offered a reasonable, balanced view of the pro's and con's.
I also think that survey results can be skewed, perhaps by including areas which do not need or want CPZ and will therefore out-vote the areas that do.
I think that the previously unheard opinions that have been offered in this discussion thread have been far more realistic and balanced than anything that appeared around the time of the survey. I would also suggest that some real research is done in terms of a feasibility study - what would it cost the council(s), which streets really should be CPZ'd and which ones shouldn't, how much the residents would have to pay and also what the likely impact on parking would be, both in CPZ'd streets and non-CPZ'd streets nearby. Then some time for people to air their views, then another survey. Although I am sure surveys cost money, I don't think this issue is likely to go away and therefore should be re-visited at regular intervals as our neighbourhood evolves.
By the way, re my previous point about the population ageing and surviving longer with disabling conditions (which you reiterate), I have been medically barred from riding a bike since I was 9 years old after a RTA. There are a lot of people like me, too fit for Blue Badges but not able to walk far or ride bikes. There are also many young people like Nicole (above) who has a baby and a toddler - not great on bikes. Maybe electric SmartCars are the future, but right now we need reasonably-sized cars and somewhere to park them close to where we live. Too much to ask, maybe?
I have lived in Woodside Rd for nearly 30 years. We know why we can't park any more - it's solely because of CPZs! My view has always been that if you live near a tube station you have great transport links - but parking will be difficult. If you live half a mile from the tube, you'll be able to park but have a longer walk to the tube. It was great for years! People came to visit, delivery men delivered, I could park outside my home with assorted children and shopping. But then came the CPZs and finally when it reached the next roads to mine, I can no longer park. How has this benefited anyone apart from the council's coffers? What we really should do is campaign for CPZs to be abolished. I believe there is a law which says councils can't make money from parking purely on a monetary basis. It's a difficult legal argument as they would argue that the initial CPZs were needed because people living next to the tube couldn't park. Then gradually all the rest of us couldn't park by degrees! But OUR parking problems have been caused directly by CPZs in other areas. I, as a vehemently anti CPZ (on principle) have even taken to wondering if I'd be relieved if we had one. But the principle does stop me! As for some of the other points:
Danger to pedestrians (wheelchair users/children especially) - this has nothing to do with the levels of pavement and everything to do with cars swinging into their drives or reversing out without noticing anyone who may be below eye level.
And the point for those of us who have frontages big enough for off- street parking is a valid one. There are some streets where virtually every house has off-street parking. Where would your visitors park then even if you have your (paid for!) permit for them?
One of my friends who has recently had CPZ applied to her road said she hates the way she now has traffic wardens patrolling up and down the street - one aspect I hadn't even thought of.
And for those of us who live in Haringey (I have had better treatment from Enfield) please remember that Haringey are draconian in collecting parking money. I once had to go to appeal as I was collecting someone with Multiple Sclerosis to take to the station and got a ticket before he could find his valid blue badge to put on the car! Even though I sent proof of his valid blue badge and pointed out that it was actually Multiple Sclerosis awareness week! Wait until your visitors get parking tickets because you can't get the permit on their cars in time!
So, all in all, it's a ghastly scheme but no doubt the council will win and people will finally give in (even the antis like me) and pay. And of course the final point - once it's there, they really can raise it to whatever price they want - and no amount of campaigning will make the slightest bit of difference.
Happy Easter everyone!
Happy Easter, Judy!
You say you hold strong anti-CPZ views on principle, citing the parking problems in Woodside Road as evidence, also stating that dropped kerbs are dangerous to children and wheel-chair users.
I agree with you that wherever CPZs are introduced, the commuters etc who cause the problem move to the nearby streets who end up taking the strain. However, with respect, over the past 30 years the parking in Woodside Road and everywhere else would have worsened even without nearby CPZ, as the volume of traffic and density of population has increased enormously in that time. I expect the school-run where I live was very different 30 years ago, too. I think it is a fact of life that CPZs will have to spread, as people such as yourself living near to a CPZ will bear the brunt of the overflow and end up also getting CPZd.
The fact is that our streets have parking space for one small-ish vehicle per household. How many people in your street have no car, how many have more than one? And, even if they roughly balance each other out, cars parked opposite each other in our roads leave barely enough space for one-way traffic only. In fact, the occasional dropped kerb provides a much-needed passing space, also somewhere for people to turn around (without bouncing off residents' parked cars. I can show you the dents my car has received this way).
I lived in Westminster 30 years ago, in a CPZ zone. My main complaint was that the zone kicked in at 8 a.m. and ended at 6, so as I then worked in the evenings I frequently could not park when I came home from work, as non-permit holders parked in the zones after 6. They would then leave before the wardens arrived, and I would have to get up early to re-park before 8 a.m. So there are always some residents for whom CPZ works less well. I am not in favour of CPZ on a point of principle, but of practicality. Even though CPZ wasn't great for me then, I could still see that without it no-one who lived there would ever be able to park.
I also lived for 17 years in a house with off-street parking i.e. a dropped kerb. Not sure what I was doing right, but in all that time I never once managed to hit a child, a wheel-chair-user or anyone else while driving on or off the front garden. (Perhaps because I never mastered the art of hand-brake spins?). To be serious, I think that roads such as Maidstone Road, which has virtually every other garden paved over & kerb lowered, are just ugly and sad. However, they all did this long before they had CPZ - I wonder if they would have done if it had been introduced earlier? And I have been walking to & fro the Tube up & down that road for the past 11 years and haven't even had a near-miss. So I understand the theory of your view re danger, but in my experience both as driver and as pedestrian it has not been born out in practice.
Also, speaking as a pedestrian, we do have to take some responsibility for keeping an eye out for danger. I am eternally grateful to the parents who shepherd flocks of kids on foot to & fro the local school (forgiving them the sweet-papers & other rubbish they merrily toss about, in between picking flowers from the gardens), and understand that they are often very distracted, but the whole idea is to keep an eye out and keep the kids safe.
As for visitors, in fact dropped kerbs provide an extra parking space- a visitor can park across your dropped kerb with your permission, rather than taking up a neighbour's space. So it is possible to see dropped kerbs as a rather expensive form of CPZ; instead of buying a visitor's permit, you pay for exclusive parking in front of your house. Meanwhile, when your visitors arrive now, I expect they have to park outside your neighbours' houses - where did they park before, 30 years ago? Was it perhaps that not so many of your neighbours or visitors owned cars?
Just another point - we keep banging on about the great local transport links - why do visitors have to arrive in cars? A lot of my friends prefer the Tube, especially as we are more than likely to either crack a bottle at home or pay our respects to to the Ranelagh.
To my knowledge there are only four dropped kerbs in Woodside Road, with apparently two of those being inactive, so I really can't see where the danger is. In your street there is barely enough room to park a car in the tiny front gardens - I have seen one parked there, but it's a small car and I take my hat off to the driver who managed to squeeze the vehicle in there (slowly and carefully, I bet).
Please do not misunderstand: I personally hate to see gardens paved over and Edwardian frontages ruined by ugly parking spaces, but again I am speaking from a practical rather than emotional stance. Dropped kerbs do not have to lead to ugly devastation, if carefully done, and I think the council should be a bit more responsible regarding how many permits are allowed in any one street and the criteria for granting them.
As for wardens, yes there are goodies and baddies. But someone hating even seeing them in the street seems a little excessive. I would hope they might also be a deterrent to burglars, vandals, litter-louts etc.
So I'm sorry to disagree with you, Judy, but I can't really see a realistic basis for such vehement anti-CPZ feelings. I wish we could find an answer to the parking problems locally that did not set us against each other. My greatest fear is that the Council(s) involved will take advantage of our disharmony and simply impose double-yellow lines everywhere, thereby making a fortune out of parking fines, clamping & towing etc and leaving residents - including blue badge holders-with absolutely nowhere to park.
Again, I suggest a proper feasibility study be carried out, plus another survey, and for the whole situation to be reviewed regularly, regardless of whether we decide for or against. I suspect that CPZ would be a raving success in some streets and a failure in others; we won't know properly unless it is properly researched and then maybe trialled- and reviewed.
Sad about the Easter weather, innit?
All the best,
I disagree that there simply weren't enough cars to cause a problem with parking in years past. i knew exactly the day when the nearest CPZ came into force as that was the day I could no longer park. Up until then there had been no problem. For the most part, CPZ areas are heavily 'under-parked' when they are in use. If you scrapped CPZs I am confident that our parking problems would disappear overnight unless, as I said before, you live virtually on top of a tube station. As for fewer people having or driving cars years ago, again, I disagree. Virtually every one of my friends drives - but none of my grown up children do. It's simply too expensive to own and insure a car for the majority of 20 somethings to do so in London.
Yes, perhaps we could do with a new survey - but not one which asks residents if they want CPZs. We should ask the motorists who are clogging up our streets about their purpose for parking there, where they would prefer to park if there were no CPZs in operation etc. And of course, an even better test would be to scrap CPZs for a week and see what happens! Fat chance of any council doing that.
Regarding safety, I don't think this is a big issue, I was merely responding to a previous person who suggested that the level of the pavement with dropped kerbs was a problem. But I did dispute a downstair's neighbour's off street parking plans, because it was across my children's sole route to our garden. And we shouldn't forget that, although we may not have personally mown down any children or wheel-chair users, a young boy was killed during these Easter holidays by his father reversing into him out of a driveway and it is something that ROSPA acknowledges as a danger. So the risk is there, albeit a small one.
And then the cost. I went to visit a friend with a new baby in Wood Green this weekend. She gave me a permit for 2 hours. I note that in Barnet the parking permits have gone up to over £4 each. Imagine a young mother at home inviting a friend over with her children for the day. That is going to be one expensive visit!
And all this to 'fix' a problem which I firmly believe didn't exist until CPZs were introduced. If they are really concnerned about the parking - and wish to put it right for us poor residents, they could (as I think someone touched on) give us FREE parking permits to park anywhere in Haringey (or whichever borough you live in) but charge motorists from outside the borough. I wouldn't really support that either as I object to the councils highjacking public highways to use as their personal private carparkfor which they can charge, but it would at least demonstrate that they are doing this for us and not for the council coffers. And, like you, I used to live in a place where I used to have get up and move the car if I wasn't going to work the next day (or worse, if I woke up ill so was unexpectedly not going to work!) but guess what, I moved to that place just before the restrictions came into place and we had no trouble parking then!
I agree about using the transport links as much as possible. But when you have young children it is a nightmare struggling on long journeys on public transport with pushchairs etc. unless you have no other option. I only drive to visit people where it makes more sense ie. a 10 or 20 min journey as opposed to a 1 and a half hour bus journey. I never drive into central London any more - and nor do most commuters I bet, what with the Congestion Charge! Perhaps that has also had a significant effect on parking. It's a possibility.
And as for traffic wardens acting as a deterrant - I wouldn't hold my breath. They have no authority over anyone and I doubt their eyes will be on anywhere else than the dashboards of cars!
As for dropped kerbs giving much needed passing space, I think that is true. My road is now one way and it has been better, although I occasionally miss wading into arguments with testosterone-fueled men in stand-offs and telling them what to do in no uncertain terms! And I didn't really comment on the aesthetic properties. I think it's a shame but you really can't expect the council to regulate how many they allow. That really would be unfair. The one thing it will probably do, in roads where virtually every house has one, as in some of the Enfield roads off Green Lanes, is protect them from CPZs. No-one else can park there because they would be blocking their drives, so no parking problem! And for those who are in the minority with their dropped kerbs, if CPZs come into force they will no longer be able to park a visitor across their drive without a permit.
I suppose the bad Easter weather will keep a lot of people at home and not using their cars, if nothing else!
I think there's a real danger of this whole discussion being hijacked by us two arguing about CPZ; it's clear you have a really bad experience of living near a CP Zone and nothing will change that. I'm sorry it's so awful for you. I think we'll have to agree to differ and hopefully some other views will be heard.
I also think we are debating from different situations. I do not have CPZ where I live and do have dreadful parking problems for residents; partially because we live near a tube & train station, but also because of teachers and parent traffic due to the school. At the moment parking is easy - not only is our school on holiday, but a lot of commuters will also have gone away for Easter. The CPZ is still there, but we have fewer commuters and no parents & teachers and no problem. The street's still got lots of cars, most of which I can identify as belonging to neighbours and there are still some spare parking spaces. So for this street, getting rid of all CPZs would not seem to be a solution. The nearest CPZ, at Bounds Green, is only for 2 hours (10-12 a.m.) which stops people leaving their cars there all day, maybe some of our problem is overspill from that, but not all. I find that the zone is still busy during those times, but also means that non-residents can park there outside those times (and they do - when I've been temporarily disabled I've been very glad of being able to park nearer). So we are arguing about two different situations.
Lucky you, having your street made one way. Here, the next street was blocked off to give the school more play area, forcing all the school traffic down this street - then they made it no right turn onto the A406, hence un-green non-walkies parents in 4x4's doing 18-point turns and bouncing off our cars.
I would love to believe that banning CPZ would resolve things, but instead I can't help thinking there will still be X number of cars trying to park in -X numbers of places. No CPZ could well mean that residents just get less chance to park near where they live.
By the way, it was me who suggested one free permit per household (I'd like flying pigs, too).
I could go on answering the various points you have made, but I do think we could end up killing this discussion and boring people. I'd rather we try to encourage other people to come up with constructive ideas to manage the problem - I doubt it will be resolved until we all have to drive electric Smarts. I still think we are in danger of having double yellow lines imposed on us, or alternatively an extension of the Congestion Charge (good point you made there) with people paying to drive through various zones.
I think you're right Kathie - different streets have different issues. I guess a key point to stress to anyone in "officialdom" coming round canvassing our views again would be that each street should be considered separately rather than lumping the whole area together, or we'll end up with CPZs where we don't need them, or not getting them where they're needed.
Ok, I'll shut up now. But one last thing, you are worrying unnecessarily about double yellow lines everywhere. that will never happen. I think there are strict rules about double yellow lines, like they are only used where there would be an obstruction but more importantly there will no money in it for the councils so that will never get off the ground. I suppose I'm just not willing to give up the fight against greedy councils. I still believe pigs could fly if enough of us gathered forces. Giving each borough resident one free permit for the whole of the borough is probably more of a realistic goal than mine of scrapping all CPZs - so why not fight for that rather than giving in to ever more expensive restrictions?