Residents’ Parking: How is it for you?

Cambridgeshire County Council is consulting throughout the city on residents’ parking, and most Queen Edith’s should be consulted in the next year. Demand in some streets is very high and the established schemes are popular, but we recognize that it’s not the right solution for everywhere.

The city has been notionally divided up into 26 zones, each named after a street or landmark in the area: for example, in Queen Edith’s, we have Morley, Coleridge West, Coleridge East, Nightingale, Glebe, Perse, Wulfstan and Walpole.

The Morley scheme is in place, Coleridge West is to be decided on in July, and a consultation for Coleridge East will start this autumn. The other consultations for this area are scheduled for spring 2018.

It would be helpful to have an idea before that of whether or not there is a strong demand. Please let me know if you’re broadly in favour or not, by taking part in my preliminary survey. There are just three questions, so it shouldn’t take long.

If you live in the ‘Morley’ residents’ parking zone (between Hills Road, Cherry Hinton Road and Blinco Grove), I have a different survey for you, as I am running a review of the Morley scheme now that it’s been in place for six months. There are questions on how it’s working, as well as one on short-stay spaces. Please give me your feedback on how things are going.

Let me know if you’d prefer a paper version of either survey.

What’s all this about residents’ parking?

Sign

Residents’ parking could be coming to your street soon, or at any rate, a consultation about it. The County Council has embarked on a programme of parking consultations covering most of the city. Up till now, residents’ parking schemes have been developed after evidence of demand, as with the Morley scheme in this area; but following an offer by the Greater Cambridge Partnership to fund the set-up costs of new schemes, the Council is putting the idea to residents regardless of whether any interest has been shown.

The Council has divided the city into 26 zones and is consulting residents in phases, presenting them with parking scheme proposals. They started with the areas where there has been strongest demand: so far, consultations have been run in the Staffordshire, Newnham, Accordia and west Coleridge zones. They have all resulted in majorities for residents’ parking schemes, although with a very low turnout in the Coleridge west area. The Victoria, Elizabeth and Coleridge East zones are coming next, and consultations for Queen Edith’s are likely to be in spring 2019.

Citywide map of RP zones 2017

If the consultations in each area result in over 50% of responses being in favour of the proposed scheme, then they will go ahead; if not, then they will not be progressed. Labour councillors wanted to implement the schemes even without majority votes, but Lib Dems have insisted that there must be majority support.

Residents’ parking schemes restrict parking during set hours to people with permits: residents and their guests, plus traders and carers. Permits cost between £1 and £2 a week depending on the hours of the scheme and all permit types are going up in price in April, to reflect rises in the costs of managing the schemes.

Visitors’ permits are currently £8 for five days but will be going up to £12 in April. (The Conservatives were going to put them up to £15 but were persuaded to set a less steep rise following pressure from the Liberal Democrats and residents.)

See here for our frequently asked questions on residents’ parking, with links to the County Council’s web pages on the topic.

Yellow lines update

Amanda and fencing

New knee-length ‘diamond’ fencing

The yellow lines in Cavendish Avenue and Baldock Way and the disabled parking bay on Baldock Way were painted in the autumn.  Low-level fencing for the verges in the middle section of Baldock Way is also now in place.

Yellow lines in Gunhild Close and Fendon Close have now been painted.

Park and Ride charges to go … but rises for on-street parking and residents’ parking

On Tuesday, the County Council‘s Highways & Community Infrastructure committee will be considering proposals for changes to parking charges in the city, including residents’ parking permit fees as well as on-street and Park & Ride parking charges.

Some of the proposals are good news, like the removal of Park & Ride parking charges, charges that we have opposed since they were first introduced in 2013. The charges have driven motorists away from the Park & Ride sites and into residential streets, which are already choc-a-bloc full of commuter cars.

The rise in residents’ parking permits and on-street parking charges is not such good news. One element that my party has opposed is the very steep 88% price hike for visitor permits – almost double. We believe this is not only disproportionate but very unfair on people who regularly have visitors during the day, such as the housebound. There are lower rises for residents’ permits … happily no rise for the new Morley scheme in Queen Edith’s that is just being introduced.

I am a member of the Highways committee and welcome your comments, which I will feed into my comments at the committee.

Please note that the charges have already been considered by the city-county councils’ joint traffic committee, where I and other Liberal Democrat members challenged the level of the rise in visitor permit costs, which we believe is over the top. We were disappointed – and not a little surprised – that our Labour colleagues defended this.

You can read the report at https://cmis.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/…/Com…/7/Default.aspx. The meeting is open to the public; if you wish to speak, you need to notify the County Council by noon on Thursday.

Residents’ parking update

A new residents’ parking scheme is being installed in the Morley area (from the Cherry Hinton Rd/ Hills Rd junction down to Blinco Grove).  The residents’ parking signs are now all in place. Parking_Guide___Morley_Area_2017

Parking bays have been painted on parts of Rathmore Road and Marshall Road, and lining will follow. Rock Road will be next, then Hartington Grove, Blinco Grove and Magnolia Close.

As many residents know, the painting of lines did not start on time. If the delay has caused you individual problems, please email me with the details, and I will take things up with the Council.

Coleridge west

A consultation for the west Coleridge area is being carried out now and will run until 4th December. If you live in any of the streets on the map* you can take part on line at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ColeridgeWest/, or complete a paper form.

There is also an information event on Tuesday 7th November (5-7pm) at the Mill Road Baptist Church, 178 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3LP, where officers will present their proposals for this area.

*Coleridge west streets

 

Consultations will take place in other parts of Cambridge over the next year or so. Residents’ parking schemes will be introduced IF a majority of respondents support them.

Residents’ parking scheme about to launch

After many years of discussion and debate – plus plenty of legwork – residents’ parking is about to arrive in Queen Edith’s. It has been named the ‘Morley’ residents’ parking scheme after the excellent Morley Memorial Primary School in Blinco Grove; and it will include the streets from Elsworth Place to Blinco Grove inclusive, plus the stretches of the main roads that link those streets. The new scheme will operate Monday-Friday, 10am-7pm. See here for a guide: Parking_Guide___Morley_Area_2017

The new scheme will give residents priority parking within their area but it also takes into account the needs of local businesses and community facilities such as Rock Road Library.

The scheme will officially launch on 1st November. Residents can apply on the County Council’s website for permits for themselves and / or guests to park within the zone. Residents’ annual permits are £50 each.

I have been working with residents and officers for a long time on this and given the majority support shown when the Council consulted last year, I’m pleased that the scheme is coming in. It will give local residents a better chance of parking near their homes – very important, especially for people with medical/ care needs, or with young children — but it will also bring road safety improvements, reduce congestion and air pollution, and generally improve the local environment for everyone.

The other good news is that there will be no joining fees. Usually people pay a starter fee when they buy their first permit on top of the cost of the permit itself. Following requests from myself and from the Hills Road Residents’ Association, the Greater Cambridge Partnership (City Board) has agreed to fund the implementation costs.

Residents’ parking update

As there have been lots of questions about residents’ parking, here is an update.

The Morley area of Queen Edith’s will have a residents’ parking scheme installed in the next few weeks, following majority support last year. The County Council informs me that Skanska will be installing signage mid-October and having yellow lines painted at the end of the month. Residents should expect letters from the County Council announcing that the scheme is about to be launched and inviting permit applications. There will be notices in the street to alert everyone else.

The details of the Morley scheme are on the Residents’ Parking page of the County Council’s website: .

The County Council is about to launch a ‘Coleridge west’ consultation in the area borded by Cherry Hinton Road (north side), Coleridge Road and Mill Road. Surveys for other areas of Cambridge will follow to establish whether there is a general desire for residents’ parking. In this area the designated areas are Coleridge east, Glebe, Wulfstan, Nightingale and Perse.

Schemes will only be taken forward if a majority of respondents are in favour.

 

 

Morley residents parking scheme

The County Council highways officers have been working on the back office systems for the Morley residents’ parking scheme, to ensure everybody eligible for a permit is listed properly. The scheme is bounded by the southern side of Cherry Hinton Road, the eastern side of Hills Road, and Blinco Grove.

The officers are about to order signs and pay & display machines, as well as book the yellow lining works. There will be letters to residents informing everybody that the parking scheme is going to be installed, followed by another inviting people to apply for permits. The first permits should be issued in September.

Streets need to be free of parked cars for the installation of bays to be installed and the painting of yellow lines. The Council is concerned that in the summer there may be some cars on the street belonging to people who are on holiday, which would frustrate the works – so the physical installation will take place in September, when the cars’ owners are less likely to be away.

The Council is about to commence consultation on seven new residents’ parking schemes, including two in Coleridge, starting on the other side of Cherry Hinton Road. Other areas of Cambridge should follow later this year. The Greater Cambridge City Deal have been asked if they will consider funding this scheme, as well as others, and we are hoping for a positive response.

For more information on residents’ parking, see https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/parking-permits-and-fines/parking/residents-parking-in-cambridge/.

More on the Morley Residents’ Parking Plan

On the 14th March the Cambridge City Joint Area Committee (CJAC), composed of county and city Labour and Lib Dem councillors, approved the County Council’s Parking Plan for this area. This is the final stage of the process before implementation. At present the timetable is not fixed, but installation is expected within the next few months.

I want to thank everyone for their input into this difficult exercise. There is no perfect solution, but the plan drawn up by the council’s Parking Policy Manager should improve the parking situation for most residents. The council survey conducted in November last year showed 59% in favour, with 35% against. This favourable vote followed a similar result in the informal survey I ran about a year earlier.

I know many of you opposed the plan for a variety of reasons. All objections and suggestions were put before the CJAC in summary form, with commentary. One common issue raised was the question of whether there had been sufficient consultation. You may find it helpful to see this summary of the information and consultation process that has taken place over the last 18 months:

  • November 2015 An unofficial survey by me, to local residents. This showed strong support for residents’ parking in principle (62% For, 30% Against)
  • February 2016 Information meeting at St John’s Church. It was chaired by me, with the Cambridge Parking Policy Manager present. It had a good mixture of people for and against a residents’ parking scheme
  • November 2016 The formal council parking plan was delivered to every household in the area, with an invitation to express support or opposition.
  • The parking plan, with information about how residents’ parking works, was on display at Rock Road  Library
  • January 2017 The result of the formal survey was announced, showing a substantial vote in favour of  the residents’ parking plan (59% for, 35% against)
  • January 2017 The formal council letter advertising the Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) was delivered to every household, posted in the street, and advertised in the local press. People were invited to put  forward material objections to the plan.
  • There has been publicity in the Queen Edith’s Community News, the Lib Dem Focus newsletter, and in local newspapers.
  • The parking situation was covered on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and in ITV’s Parking Wars.
  • Four leaflets have been circulated by local residents, two for and two against the plan.
  • On top of all this I have personally dealt with a few hundred emails sent to me about residents’ parking.

The Council invited residents to put their names forward, if they wished to speak at the 14 March committee meeting. Three residents did so: two for and one against.

Two other principal areas of concern were raised in the TRO process: pavement parking in Marshall Road and whether the plan provided sufficient residents’ parking bays. Here is how the Council responded:

Why is pavement/footway parking not being considered, when it is permitted in other parts of the city such as Romsey?
Cambridgeshire County Council is proposing that pavement parking is only considered in exceptional circumstances where there is no impact on safety or pedestrian movement and where the underlying construction is suitable for vehicle parking. Parking on pavements:

  •  Creates a hazard for the visually impaired, disabled and elderly people and those with prams and pushchairs
  • Ÿ Creates safety issues for pedestrians and can hide other vehicles particularly on bends, narrow roads
    and at junctions.
  • Ÿ Can cause damage to the footway.

As the proposed scheme reduces the overall parking spaces available particularly in Marshall Road, will there be sufficient space for residents and visitors?
Parking in Marshall Road, in its current form, is unsustainable and could represent hazards to all road  users not only now but in the future. In order to regulate parking effectively for the benefit of all highway  users it will be necessary to make changes which will ultimately limit and reduce overall car parking on  the street. Whilst this is regrettable, the safety of all highway users should take primacy over the  availability of car parking spaces.

Looking at the plans, the following parking spaces are available (based on average vehicle length of 5m)

Marshall Road 39
Hartington Grove 108
Blinco Grove 100
Magnolia Close 7
Rock Road 28
Rathmore Road 67
Rathmore Close 4
TOTAL 353

A recent parking survey was carried out across Cambridge by a company called Mott MacDonald. This survey showed 291 spaces (in Rock Road,  Blinco Grove, Hartington Grove, Marshall Road and Rathmore Road) were occupied by residents (the count was completed at 5.30am, a time when the number of commuters would be negligible and the number of residents would be at their maximum). This indicates that there would be space available for all resident permit holders even with the number of spaces reduced as a result of the  introduction of public safety, access and junction protection.

I hope this helps answer some of the main objections raised. As you can see, even with Marshall Road no  longer able to park on the pavement the council’s’figures above show that with the plan there is a clear  number of extra spaces available for residents and visitors: 353 – 291 = 62.

The Parking Policy Manager’s report to the CJAC is 31 pages long. It can be viewed on line on the County Council’s website.

Morley Memorial school development gets go-ahead

Morley passed!

On Thursday 16th March, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Planning Committee passed plans for the developments at Morley Memorial Primary School.

The developments will bring the entire school onto a single site, and create three new classrooms, as well as make improvements to toilets, windows and the boiler, which will save the school money on maintenance. The details of the plans and the council report can be read here.

Local residents and Morley parents, staff and governors attended the meeting to listen to and participate in the debate. So did a prospective Morley pupil, a delightful gurgly baby called Hannah, whose presence reminded us what it’s all about.

Pamela McLeman and Mary O’Flynn, a former school caretaker, articulated concerns about loss of open space, and parking and traffic.

The Head, Nikki Brown, spoke of why the changes are needed and how they would improve the day-to-day logistics of school life as well as cater properly for pupils and staff with disabilities – and make all the children feel part of the school.

I spoke in support of the application, while recognizing the tension between traffic and the educational needs. You can read my speech here: Morley planning application

Councillors were impressed with the plans, praising the way the architectural design of the new build would blend with the old buildings, and showing an appreciation of how the school has balanced the need for play space. There was an understanding of the traffic and parking problems but an acceptance that parking is a problem at all schools, and that it was not of sufficient weight to stand in the way of the school’s improvements.

Construction traffic and pedestrians and cyclists do not mix, especially for young children and I asked if the condition on delivery hours could be amended to be well clear of school finishing time. I am pleased that this was taken up. Deliveries will now have to be completed by 2.45pm in termtime.

Contractors will be encouraged to use Park & Ride, as there will be no parking on Blinco Grove except for the school car park.