Cambridge Residents’ Parking: Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What are the costs of residents’ parking in Cambridge?
A: Residents’ parking schemes are self-funding, ie they are costed to pay for themselves. At present, participating in a residents’ parking scheme starts at just over £1 a week per permit. There are discounts for less polluting vehicles. Each household can buy up to three permits.

Schemes that include weekends and/ or evenings are more expensive than ones running 9-5 Monday to Friday or less.  There is usually a joining fee to cover set-up costs but the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership is currently funding these.

Q: What about visitors?
A: Residents may purchase up to 20 visitor permits a year, which allow visitors to park for up to 5 days at a cost of £2.40 a day or part of a day. Anyone living in the area of a scheme can apply for visitor permits for their guests. You do not have to have a residents’ parking permit to have a visitors’ permit.

Businesses can apply for permits.

Blue badge holders are entitled to one free annual visitor’s permit.

Q: What happens if I have carers or medical visitors who need to park?
A: There is a free medical permit scheme for people who need visits from relatives or health professionals. Your doctor will need to assess your infirmity or lack of mobility and provide an estimate of the number and frequency of official visits required. There are dispensations for medical professionals who attend emergencies or who carry special equipment.

Q: What happens if I have people working on my house who need to park?
A: Tradespeople are able to purchase one or two permits for the area in which they are working.

Q: What about shops/ schools/ churches?
A: It is possible to include short-stay bays for community facilities as part of a scheme. They should be incorporated at the time the scheme is developed.

Q: Does a residents’ parking scheme guarantee a space?
A: It does not guarantee a space, but it gives residents a better chance of getting a space.

Q: Do you have to join if there’s a scheme in your street?

A: Only if you want to park in one of the on-street residents’ bays. If you have your own private parking, say on a drive, you need not purchase a residents’ permit.

Q: To whom should I report illegal parking?
A: Ring the County Council’s Civil Enforcement team on 01223 727 900. For dangerous parking, eg obstruction, parking on school zig-zags, or in bus lanes and cycle lanes, contact the police on 101.

Q: I am in a car club. Surely I would not have to pay £50+ a year when I only park in the street occasionally?

A: Residents who occasionally use car club vehicles can purchase visitor’s permits, or use the Pay & Display or short-stay bays if they are close enough to be convenient. Some schemes include spaces specifically for car club vehicles.

See the County Council website for more information including application forms for permits,  and the residents’ parking policy.

Queen Edith’s says YES to Residents’ Parking

Morley area

Morley area

Households in the north of Queen Edith’s, Blinco Grove and up to Cambridge Leisure, have supported proposals for a residents’ parking scheme proposed by the County Council. This follows my own survey in November last year, which established in principle support for restrictions.

There were over 100 comments, and the Council will publish a summary along with the results in January. The next steps will be for the Council to advertise the proposals formally with a Traffic Regulation Order. If this is approved, it is hoped that a scheme can be implemented by the summer.

Thank you to everyone who took part.

Residents’ parking – make your mind up time for Queen Edith’s

Marshall RoadLast year, I ran an informal survey on parking in the north-west corner of Queen Edith’s — the streets opposite the colleges on Hills Road. Residents there experience heavy commuter parking from the sixth form college as well as Addenbroooke’s, Cambridge Leisure and other businesses. Many houses in the streets there do not have their own drives, so residents struggle to park their own cars in the locality.

My survey resulted in a 2-1 majority in favour of parking controls, including residents’ parking. It has taken much longer to move things on than I would have liked, but  Cambridgeshire County Council will be asking residents if they want a residents’ parking scheme. This will take the form of an official consultation; if there is a majority in favour, the Council will launch the statutory process.

Morley area

Morley area

The streets included will be: Elsworth Place, Rathmore Road, Hartington Grove, Rock Road, Blinco Grove and Magnolia Close, Marshall Road, and the sections of Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road which adjoin these streets.

Residents will very soon be receiving a mailing from Cambridgeshire County Council outlining the proposals. This will include a map showing the proposals, and there will also be information on display at Rock Road Library. You can respond either using the form provided, or on line.

For information on residents’ parking in Cambridge, see http://amandataylor.focusteam.org/2016/10/28/residents-parking-frequently-asked-questions/.

Hills Road parking progress

COMMUTER PARKING in Hills Road near the colleges is just as bad as ever, especially acute when it’s raining cats and dogs like it was yesterday – as fair-weather cyclists/pedestrians / bus users) take to their cars. But take courage: work on parking restrictions has been going on behind the scenes. Here is an update.

Following my survey to gauge support for parking controls and the meeting at St John’s Church, a small parking group has launched to co-ordinate ideas and concerns. This is really helpful for the council officers working on the project and for councillors as it means means information can be shared easily.

Steve, a long-term resident and member of the group, accompanied me to a meeting at Shire Hall yesterday with the County Council’s Parking Manager. We looked at preliminary drawings for a residents’ parking scheme.

The parking restrictions will include a mixture of yellow lines, residents’ bays, and short-stay bays for visitors to the shops, churches and libraries. Existing H-markings (white lines marking private drives) would stay. The area that the Council proposes for the scheme is from Elsworth Place to Blinco Grove and the sections of Hills Road and Cherry Hinton Road that run between them.

One of the challenges for a parking scheme is that Marshall Road is very narrow. At present cars park on the pavement and people walk in the road, which is clearly harzardous, especially for children and people with disabilities. New national legislation to ban pavement parking is anticipated, so the County Council will not introduce any new parking schemes that allow it. So the proposals for Marshall Road would have a narrower carriageway and staggered double yellow lines. This will mean fewer spaces overall – however, if the law changes, the parking spaces will be reduced whether or not there is a residents’ parking scheme.

We also discussed charges for residents’ and visitors’ permits. At present the residents’ charges range from £52 to £84, but they are under review.. There are details of current schemes and what they cost at http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20018/parking_permits_and_fines/9/parking/2. Of course, if you have your own drive, or have no car and do not need a resident’s pass, there is no need to pay anything.

The Council hopes to ballot residents on a residents’ parking scheme within the next month. There will be one vote per property and three options: Yes, No and No opinion. If Yes gets a majority, then the Council will carry out statutory consultation on Traffic Regulation Orders (adverts in the paper and on the street), with any objections being determined by the Cambridge Joint Area Committee (CJAC) in the autumn.

Parking meeting for Hills Road area

Parking surveysLast year, I ran a survey on parking in the streets between St John’s Church and The Marque on Hills Road, an area generating constant complaints about parking. There was a huge response, and it has taken me some time to collate and analyse the results.

Overall, there is a clear majority for parking controls, which could include a residents’ parking scheme. I have passed the survey results to Cambridgeshire County Council, who will analyse the responses and conduct a feasibility study before consulting formally on proposals for the area.

I have arranged an information meeting for residents of these streets, to find out how residents’ parking schemes operate . We’ll have the County Council Parking Manager there to field questions.

7.30pm, St John’s Church, Hills Road, Monday 8th February

Refreshments

For residents in the streets bordered by Blinco Grove, Cherry Hinton Road and Hills Road.

Here are the questions that came up most frequently in the survey:

PARKING QUESTIONS

Q: What are the costs of residents’ parking?
A: Residents’ parking schemes are self-funding, ie they are costed to pay for themselves. At present, participating in a residents’ parking scheme costs from £1 a week for a 9-5 Monday-Friday scheme (extra for more hours or including a weekend). The costs are under review so may change.

Q: What about visitors?
A: Residents are able to make an application for up to 12 visitor permits, which can be used for up to five visits; there is at present no limit to the number of applications. Anyone who has a permanent address within a given scheme (evidence is required such as driving licence or current utility bill ) can apply for visitor permits for their guests.

Businesses can apply for permits for up to three vehicles.

Q: What happens if I have carers or medical visitors who need to park?
A: There is a free medical permit scheme for people who need visits from relatives or health professionals. Your doctor will need to assess your infirmity or lack of mobility and provide an estimate of the number and frequency of official visits required. There are dispensations for medical professinals who attend emergencies or who carry special equipment.

Q: How would the library cope if there was a residents’ scheme?
A: It would be possible to include short-stay bays for the library or other community facilities as part of a scheme.

Q: Does a residents’ parking scheme guarantee a space?
A: It does not guarantee a space, but it makes securing a space much more likely.

Q: To whom should I report illegal parking?
A: Ring the County Council’s Civil Enforcement team on 01223 727 900. For dangerous parking, eg obstruction, parking on school zig-zags, or in bus lanes and cycle lanes, contact the police on 101.

For more information including application forms for permits, see http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20018/parking_permits_and_fines/9/parking/2

Why a road safety initiative is frightening parents

Speed up as you approach a school –really?

Speed up as you approach a school –really?

The signs say ’30, 20 zone ends’ — you can see them in Blinco Grove, Hartington Grove and Hinton Avenue. The sign in the picture is in Blinco Grove, home to Morley Memorial Primary School.

Why are our streets still 30mph while streets on the other side of Cherry Hinton Road are 20mph?

The speed limit is changing throughout Cambridge, following last year’s citywide consultation on a change to 20mph, to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. That resulted in a public vote of confidence for changing the limit to 20mph in most residential streets.

The implementation of the 2omph project is being rolled out in four phases. The east area is being done now, and as part of their signage, the Council is installing signs like the one pictured.

But many Queen Edith’s residents have said the signs virtually invite cars to speed into streets such as Blinco Grove, Hartington Grove and Hinton Avenue. Ironically, these streets are used by vulnerable road users, such as children going to Morley Memorial Primary School – just the people the 20mph limit is intended to protect.

People are already reporting cars speeding up as they exit Cherry Hinton Road, egged on by the signage. One parent of young children has described it as ‘terrifying’ to have cars ‘belting down’ our roads, as they rat-run between Cherry Hinton and Hills Roads.

Queen Edith’s should be 20 too by next spring or summer, subject to the traffic regulation orders going through. That’s a long time, plenty long enough for an accident. It would be horrible if an initiative to improve road safety results in an accident because of the timelag.

I have asked the Council to address this unintended consequence. We hope they can come up with a solution.

After a year of talking, the County Council unveils its Parking Plan

QUEEN EDITH CHAPEL THIS WEDNESDAY

Most residents of Queen Edith’s will know that parking is a big problem in this area. Lib Dem councillors have for many years been calling for action from Conservative-run Cambridgeshire County Council, the council responsible for parking management and highways.

Last summer the County agreed to set up a parking review group, to look at all of the south of the city, including Queen Edith’s, Trumpington, Romsey and some streets in Coleridge. Cllr Jean Swanson and I attended the first meetingabout a year ago, and since then Cllr Geoff Heathcock has represented Queen Edith’s on that group.

The County officers have visited twice, once to our South Area meeting at my request and again to meet residents in Queen Edith’s. It was made very clear that people were impatient with the long delays and looking for solutions soon.

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