In a recent noisy Cleveland Ward Forum the residents of Bellevue Road brought up the subject of the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) which had recently been set up in the Kent Gardens area. The resulting displacement of parked cars is causing chaos in Bellevue Road and obstruction in Scotch Common.
The Labour councillors were unsympathetic. At one point someone asked "Do we have to have a bad accident before you take this seriously."
Labour councillor Lynne Murray said that there was no evidence for obstruction on Scotch Common, to the astonishment of the residents who have to live with this problem every day. She added that it was no worse than the long-standing problems in Woodfield Road.
This was not a helpful comment and the meeting had to be called to order at this point!
Labour Councillor David Rodgers said:
- There can be no review of the CPZ decision. The residents asked for it and if there were a review it would go back to the residents who are very happy with the decision.
- The councillors would however be happy to meet with residents of Bellevue Road to determine "what solutions for their problem might be provided".
Spoiler alert - it will be another CPZ.
The issues are twofold:
- The area north of Pitshanger Lane has always had very tight parking. The council identified it as an area under stress two years ago. This has now become a much bigger problem.
- Scotch Common is a major route from the A40 into Ealing. It was already a pinch-point during rush hours, but this has become much worse with the extra parked vehicles on either side of the road.
This worsening situation is the result of the Council setting up a new CPZ without consulting all of the areas impacted.
A report was issued by the council in 2016 (here). The Council report identified areas where parking is under the greatest pressure and proposed a rolling plan of CPZ consultations in those areas. This list included Pitshanger North which was to be consulted in 2018/19. Scotch Common was not in line for any parking restriction and the Kent Gardens area was not on this list as it did not have a high parking occupancy compared to those on the list.
Why has the Kent Gardens area had an unplanned CPZ in the meantime?
The answer is that the residents asked for it! They undoubtedly did have problems with parked cars obstructing driveways and long-term and commuter parking. We sympathise and a CPZ is a good solution for them. But the council should not simply plonk a CPZ down without considering the effect on all of the neighbouring streets.
It was irresponsible to:
- take action which will increase parking in an area without consulting residents when the council has already said it is under pressure and
- to ignore the effect on the busy Scotch Common.
We call for a review of CPZ policy. It should be related to need and planned as a whole. Any CPZs outside the plan should be considered not just with the wishes of the residents in mind, but the needs of the whole area. In this example, Scotch Common clearly needs some sort of parking restriction once neighbouring areas have CPZs. The consultation in Pitshanger North needs to be brought forward as a matter of urgency. The residents need an urgent solution to their parking problem.