Lambeth Council has approved a £600k borough-wide parking feasibility study “to address residents’ concerns about parking in the borough.” Here is the key information from the decision:
The Council is proposing a study to identify areas under most parking stress and take the action needed to relieve the problem for residents and businesses. The study will assess whether existing CPZs still meet the needs of the local community and whether there is a need to extend controlled parking to other areas. The study will start in April 2015 and will be phased in two parts. The first six months will look at the North of the borough, which has high levels of parking stress, and then, subject to finance, Lambeth will implement measures to reduce parking stress in this part of the borough. The second half of the study will consider the rest of the borough, in particular those areas without any CPZs. This phase will be completed by April 2016. The review is designed to prevent displacement of parking and to ensure that limited resources are ultimately targeted to the areas of most need.
The first phase of the programme will be to carry out a review of the existing CPZ areas in the North of the borough in order to assess local needs in view of changes in local circumstances and address local area issues such as disturbance from the night-time economy. Existing CPZs cover most of the northern half of the borough an area which has experienced the most development pressure. The review will be an opportunity to assess whether parking stress has increased with the higher densities that are being developed or whether changing travel patterns and falling car ownership has minimised the impact of the rising population. This first phase will provide Lambeth with an up to date database and digitised map of all parking controls in the borough, including disabled bays, business parking, etc. which will also help in dealing with routine enquiries. This phase will also identify opportunities to consolidate orders to make it easier for drivers to understand controls and for the Council to rationalise operations. 2.3 The second phase of the programme will be a parking stress survey in areas without – CPZs to determine whether there is a need to extend the existing CPZ’s. There are several local community campaigns for new CPZ’s and several major development schemes which could add to local parking stress in coming years in the south of the borough. The borough-wide parking stress survey will provide an overview of parking patterns and provide evidence to enable new CPZ’s to be considered.
A capital investment of £600,000 from the council’s capital reserve is required to carry out a review of controls and operations in existing CPZ’s and to carry out a parking survey in the rest of the borough. £75,000 will be used this financial year to establish a dedicated team to manage the surveys and begin the parking surveys, with the remaining £525,000 to be used through 2015/16 to continue and complete the review. Developer contributions from s.106 agreements for parking stress surveys will be used in appropriate cases (namely, where the planning obligation has triggered the developer payment and requirement for local survey).
The review of existing CPZs will include consultation with residents on their views on existing operations and hours of control. In areas outside existing CPZs, the parking stress survey will provide an evidence base. This will identify areas with parking stress and in a subsequent phase of work, there will be consultation with residents on potential future CPZs.
The review and parking survey in themselves are low risk projects, primarily gathering evidence. The main risk is political – that some communities campaigning for controlled parking to be introduced may have to wait 12months for the review to be completed before their extensions can be commenced. Where possible, subject to finance, Lambeth will implement measures to reduce parking stress within the 12 month period. The capital allocation for the CPZ review however will enable a dedicated team to be established who can communicate the process and programme, and the team resource and review results will enable some CPZ extensions to be brought forward more quickly.
The full decision can be found here http://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s72971/Final%20Borough-wide%20parking%20feasibility%20study%20CMB%20paper%20Mar%2015.pdf And some more informal information on Vassall View here http://www.vassallview.com/2015/01/special-look-to-be-taken-at-parking.html
Whilst we welcome the Council’s engagement, it is not clear what this study will bring in addition to the parking study undertaken by the Council a few years ago which showed 700 more cars are parked in Vassall Ward on a weekday vs a weekend. This study definitively revealed the issue with displaced parking. It also bizarrely concluded that there was plenty of spare parking capacity on Brixton and Foxley Roads (residents will know that you cannot park on these roads on weekdays).
We have repeatedly asked the Council for answers to key questions but have received no response:
- What are the action standards of this review? What needs to be true in order to implement a CPZ in our area? Previous studies have already shown we are at over 90% capacity on a weekday (the level at which the Council considers the area to be full). It is inconceivable that a study of this size and cost can be started without any objectives or KPIs.
- We are the most northerly area of the Borough without a CPZ. Will we be included in phase 1 which covers CPZs in the North of the Borough, and thereby have results by October 15 OR due to the fact that we have no CPZ, will we be included in phase 2 which is for areas without CPZs today – in which case the area will not even be looked at until October with results in April 2016. The post on Vassall View suggests our area will be looked at “in parallel” in the first phase, for a “technical overview of the parking needs” – but this is not clear in the official document – why not?
- Will the Council insist on another consultation if the results corroborate all the previous studies showing that Vassall Ward is at parking capacity? Has budget been allocated for this? What are the timelines?
- Has budget been ringfenced to implement a CPZ in our area if the (assuming there are some) action standards are met? What are the timelines?
It would be reassuring to have the full picture and, if only as a courtesy, to be kept informed about this study. Despite repeatedly contacting the Council we found out about the decision to go ahead with the study via informal sources, even our Councillors were not made aware.
If we hear any more information we will pass it on.