Tuesday, January 8, 2013

300 Signatures in 9 days opposing Hackney's R Zone Controlled Parking Zones!

Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) is a tool to make money, suggests the Times Newspaper: Parking charges soar as Town Halls Take £1bn, dated 4 January 2013.  And Tory led councils are at the top of the league table.

A report into car ownership and behaviours by the RAC last year notes that car ownership is on the decline.  With financial instruments rapidly increasing during this austerity period, such as fuel prices sky rocketing, car insurances increasing, road tax etc, all going up, it is clear that the car is becoming unaffordable.

CPZ is a blunt tool to tackle residential parking congestion and park and drive communities in the R Zone.   With the natural reduction in car ownership, one has to ask why this strategy is still being pursued?

The R Zone Consultation appear to contradict a range of findings about Hackney's parking needs.  It has angered residents who voted against CPZ in 2012 only to find that in January 2013, it is being introduced anyway.

Resident parking need for Hackney should be assessed with a criteria that includes the amount of parking spaces available but Hackney Council have been unable to say how many spaces they have, as they haven't counted them.  In summary, their plan is to continue to implement CPZ and sell permits, even though they have no idea of the amount of spaces available. 

This model reflects the low cost airline fiasco - where airlines over-sold seats on the idea that not all passengers turned up.  This created excessive delays in airports and sometimes a complete loss of the family holiday.  Likewise, CPZ do not guarantee parking spaces outside hour door, or on your street, or close to your home.  CPZ is a 'first come first park basis' with no refunds if you were unable to find a space.

If it didn't work for airliners, why use the model for residential parking?  Some say its to raise revenue (The Times article), while others suggests it support the Green agenda of ridding car ownership from the city.  With no idea of how many car owners and car spaces available, Hackney's motivation to only use CPZ to manage parking capacity is becoming questionable.

In nine days the R Zone community have collected some 300 signatures and they achieved this over the December holiday period.  This reinforces their rejection to CPZ made earlier and they are now asking local government to sit down with residence to explore a range of other parking tools to manage the pinch point in the area. 

The R Zone community figures do fly in the face of the Parking Stress Report which is allegedly the trigger document for introducing CPZ.  That report suggested parking pinch points were Stoke Newington Common and Benthal Road but from the list of signatures, residents here appear unanimously apposed to CPZ. 

Clearly the introduction of the 'bendy bus' parking on the common took away large chunks of parking to the detriment of these residents but there are other tools available to solve that problem; especially as the bendy bus is no longer with us.

The closing date for Statutory Consultation appears to be Monday 7 with objections about the proposed time of 7:30am to 7:30pm up to 17 January.

The signed petition is being handed in to Hackney Council on Monday with R Zone residents making both individual and collective complaints using the council complaints procedures.  But if the Times newspaper's league table is any indication, Hackney is not on the list at the moment and this may see an aggressive drive to push through CPZ throughout the borough - just so they can make it in the top ten by t

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