Friday, July 10, 2009

Ladywell CPZ Consultation - coming through a letterbox near you any day now!

I've just heard that the long-awaited Ladywell CPZ (controlled parking zone) consultation documents are back from the printers today, and distribution to local households could start as soon as this weekend. Regular readers will know that this is something many local residents have been requesting for several years and we have been flagging up their concerns to highways and Mayor & Cabinet since 2006.

You can see the map of the area they plan to consult here, and the consultation document should also be available to download on the Council website soon. The form just says the rather vague 'return within three weeks' as they don't want to put off those who are on holiday from completing the form when they get back. I've been assured that they will accept forms right up until they start compiling the results, which will be in about six weeks time.

An exhibition of the proposals, where there will also be a chance to discuss them with highways officers, will be held next Friday and Saturday at the Wearside depot:

Friday 17 July 2009 from 10am to 8pm
Saturday 18 July 2009 from 10am to 5pm
at The Visitor Centre, Wearside Depot,
Wearside Road, London SE13 7BR

Previously I've been fairly ambivalent about CPZs, not being a car-owner myself, and I'm still not a staunch advocate, but over recent years I've become more convinced of the merits of a CPZ in the Ladywell area because:
  • We get lots of complaints from residents who say they can't park in their street due to commuters parking in the area then going to the train station/hospital/town centre. We then get residents leaving out traffic cones to reserve 'their' parking space, causing conflict and tension between drivers.
  • A CPZ won't magically enable residents to park their car outside their house, but it should increase their chances of being able to park their car somewhere near their house.
  • While to an extent a CPZ simply displaces the problem to outside the zone, it may also prompt a few people to leave their car at home and use public transport.
  • The extension of the Lewisham CPZ in the Loampit Vale and top of Algernon Road area a few years back has had a negative knock-on effect on the rest of Algernon Road and surrounding streets.
  • The proposed developments in Lewisham Town Centre are likely to create extra pressure on parking spaces in the area, and if residents of the new homes can't park there (they won't get residents parking permits), they may well look to park in Ladywell.
  • The consultation also asks for views on some extra short stay parking at the top of roads adjoining Ladywell Road. This is something that local shopkeepers often cite as being lacking and key to their business.
  • The consultation also offers the opportunity to get more car club spaces in the area, which again has been shown to reduce car ownership and free up parking space on roads.
  • The more CPZs we have in the borough, the more revenue in the highways budget to sort out the appalling state of roads in this area. Boroughs such as Camden which is almost entirely CPZ, have significantly more revenue to spend on resurfacing works than Lewisham does.
So I anticipate returning my form in favour of the CPZ, and in support of car club spaces and more short stay parking near businesses, but I will wait until after the drop in event to make my mind up for sure.

Whatever your views on CPZs, it's important that if you live in the area you respond and make your views known. Unlike some consultations where it seems that the decision has already been made, that is not the case with CPZs - Lewisham's policy is that they only go ahead when a clear majority in the area are in favour, so do make sure your voice is heard.


Ricky and Liz said...

As a resident of the western end of Brookbank Road - one of the borough's roads in an appalling state of repair - I'm concerned about what will happen if the CPZ goes ahead.

My stretch of road is not included in the proposed CPZ, sitting just outside the area. So obviously there will be increased pressure on parking on our road as a result of visitors and people not wishing to pay for a permit. You admit this, as does the leaflet which I've seen.

It's already fairly difficult to park on Brookbank Road or Fossil Road (not impossible, mind, and it's never really bothered me before now). But with the extra pressure from a nearby CPZ, I doubt I'd ever be able to park, and would therefore be forced to seek a space on Shell, Overcliff or Cliffview Roads.

On the other hand, if the extra funds generated by the CPZ really will mean more money for road resurfacing, then I'm all for it, especially if it means my road can finally get repaired! But then again, if I can't park on it, what's the use??

I have to say, since moving to the area in May 2007, life in Lewisham has become increasingly depressing. The council seem to be doing everything they can to make the life of a car-owning Leaseholder an absolute misery, what with the PFI, the Loampit Development, the Service Charges farce, and now this. Sigh...

Anonymous said...

Has your end of the road received copies of the consultation, or not? Even if you haven't, you are still welcome to write in to Highways and express your views - either opposing the proposals or asking for the zone to be extended to include your part of the street. The survey should be available online soon.

Ricky and Liz said...

I haven't received a copy of the consultation yet as far as I know, but would happily fill it out.

I've been writing to Highways for 6 months to get them to repair my street, but they don't seem able to (partly since their funding for this year hasn't been finalised??), so I doubt they'd be very responsive to me on this matter.

If I object to the proposal initially, but it still goes ahead anyway, can I at a later date request that my road be included (if, as suspected, it leads to increased difficulties in areas just outside the zone)?

Anonymous said...

There is normally a review of new CPZ zones 6 months after they are implemented, at which stage any tweeks to the zone can be suggested.

We have also been pushing to get Brookbank Road (among a number of others) resurfaced and are waiting for the resurfacing programme for this financial year to be finalised (officers draw up the list, which is then agreed by the Mayor). Unfortunately it will take millions to sort out all the roads that need resurfacing in the borough, and unless the Council borrows some money to pay for it, I'm not sure how it will get done.

Matthew Tripp said...
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Ricky and Liz said...

Don't TFL contribute to the cost of repairing roads in the borough which are bus routes? The near-24/7 buses in both directions are the main reason the western end of Brookbank Road is in such a poor state. It doesn't get that much other traffic, really.

Geoffrey said...

On a flippant note........I see that Elmira Street has been renamed Elvira Street; perhaps the map complier was influenced by Donna Elvria in Mozart's 'Don Giovanni'. Not sure why Slagrove Place has become Slagrove Road, though.
I think the residents of Fossil, Cliffview and Shell have reason for concern as drivers might park there and get the 484 down to Ladywell station; likewise further along Chudleigh Road, on the route of the 284. When Oyster cards can be used on trains as well as currently on buses, options for car drivers are even wider.

Anonymous said...

And Railway Terrace appears to have become an annex of Algernon Road too!

Good point re Fossil, Cliffview and Shell - I have asked officers to clarify whether they have just consulted those in the proposed area, or those adjacent to it too.

Ricky and Liz said...

Yes, I have the same concerns for the aforementioned stretch of Brookbank re: people parking to get the 484 down to the station.

Sue, are you able to confirm whether TFL funding comes into the equation when repairing surfaces of bus routes in the area?

Anonymous said...

Some of the bigger roads in the borough are managed and maintained by Tfl (eg Loampit Vale), but it's not necessarily all the bus routes. I'm pretty certain that Brookbank is an LBL road. However, amongst the criteria that the highways team use to prioritise resurfacing works (as well as the condition of the road of course), is whether they are on a bus route, which Brookbank is. When I spoke to a highways officer a few months back about Brookbank, he assured me that it was pretty high up their to do list, and they were fully aware what a state it's in. I'm hoping it will get done this financial year, but we need them to hurry up and get their report to Mayor & Cabinet for approval first!

A bit more info about the CPZ charges too: I checked with highways and apparently pretty much all of the £60 per year charge (and the pay and display income) goes on operating the zone, maintaining machines, repairing signs and lines and on patrolling. It's only the penalty charge notices (PCNs) that generate a surplus. Some of this is used towards the cost of installing zones, some is used to pay for improving roads and footways.

The Secretary of State requires that zones are self-financing (so they can't be free), but Lewisham's policy thus far has been to keep the permit cost fairly low. (For comparison, Kensington & Chelsea charge £108, Wandsworth £66, Westminster £110 (£78 if less than 1200cc), Hammersmith & Fulham £99, Camden £90, Southwark £99, Lambeth: emissions based, between £20 and £190).

Ricky and Liz said...

"Good point re Fossil, Cliffview and Shell - I have asked officers to clarify whether they have just consulted those in the proposed area, or those adjacent to it too."

I emailed regarding the short stretch of Brookbank Road which has not been included in the proposed CPZ and was told "because you live outside the agreed consultation area we cannot take your views directly into account as part of the consultation."

Chris Barlow said...

I live in Veda Road and am strongly against the introduction of a CPZ.

I would admit that there are times in the week when commuters park in the road to use the train station. But I can confidently say that this has never resulted in me not being able to find a space to park. Maybe I have needed to go 10 meters further up the road, but I can live with that.

What I find more difficult to deal with is the fact that a CPZ will cost me an annual fee to park my car outside my house. So let's call it what it is... a parking tax!

I thought my road tax paid for me to drive and park my car on the public highway? Is this no longer the case? Also, I thought my road tax (and petrol duty) also covered the cost of road maintenance. .

A final note, if commuters are parking in the roads around train stations, should we not encourage them in this as they are, after all, using the train rather than driving into London.

So, as for a consultation on the CPZ, do I want to pay a further tax. No thank you!

Chris & Hellen, Veda Rd

Ladywell Village Improvement Group said...
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Algiers road resident said...

I have just received a letter through the door saying that we are NOT to get a CPZ in Algiers Road or Veda Road, I hope that all you wallys in Algiers Road & Veda Road that opposed it realize what you've done.... For the sake of 16.5p a day... When it comes in to the other roads in Ladywell it will make Algiers Road & Veda Road a nightmare, where do you think all the commutors who now park in Malyons Road, Gillian Street, Algernon Road are going to park?,, and the residents that live in the CPZ and don't want to pay are going to park?.. Algiers Road & Veda Road that's where... Thanks alot...

Anonymous said...

There probably will be some displacement of commuter parking into roads adjacent to the CPZ. There is usually a review 6-12 months after a CPZ is implemented, at which point, if there is a problem, residents of neighbouring streets can ask for the zone to be extended.