WHPARA

Many of you have expressed concerns about the proposed extension of the CPZ and the associated survey. Below we publish some of your comments. If you would like to contribute, email us here or fill in the form on the Forum page. Comments are published as received; opinions and factual and typographic errors are contributor’s own.
AP, Parolles Road, 8/9/15
I gathered from questioning a neighbour that she was coached by the market research team. This is not acceptable.

Two weeks ago she received a visit. The researcher offered to help her fill in the on-line survey, suggesting that parking would suffer in some way from the Archway developments She remained robustly anti. She is not happy about this. Once again they said they were visiting everyone which is at odds with the show of hands (perhaps a bit confused) at the meeting last week.

What exactly is the relationship between the researchers and the survey?
MH, Cheverton Road, 7/9/15
The Consultation is Undemocratic
I believe that this consultation is undemocratic. Notification was piecemeal and erratic, with many local residents still not receiving notification even on the second phase of leafleting; after several emails to the Council I received mine at the beginning of August. Most WHPARA members seem to have heard about it by word of mouth, through our Association or through local amenity groups and, being the holiday season by then, a lot of people were away.

More to the point, being an online-only survey it disenfranchises those without the necessary access or skills, a high proportion of whom are elderly; several active members of our Residents’ Association (WHPARA) possess neither an Internet connection nor the ability to use public facilities. Furthermore, Survey Monkey (the platform Islington uses for the survey) places a cookie on the host computer making it impossible to complete more than one survey, so a household where several people wish to give their views but have only one computer are stuck. This ‘one device, one vote’ system favours households with multiple or personal devices, with the obvious implications. If the Council wanted to create a survey and make sure that not everyone could vote, this was the way to do it.

There is also uncertainty as to the status of the door-to-door canvassing in some areas; at the CPZ meeting in Caxton House (kindly arranged by Hillside Councillors four days ahead of the deadline, following vocal concern by Zone Z residents) it was unclear what effect, if any, the information gathered would have, and whether it would be included in the survey results. Sadly there was no representative from parking in attendance to enlighten us.

Zone Z
There appears to be no evidence of the need for extended hours in Zone Z; on the contrary, many local residents feel that four hours is already excessive and that it should be reduced to two. At present there is no observable change in afternoon parking; there is a slight increase in density around 7pm, and again around 11pm, by residents returning home. It is sometimes not possible to park directly outside one’s house late at night, but always possible to find a space within reasonable distance. Of course an extension to 6.30pm would have no bearing on this anyway. At the CPZ meeting mentioned above, at which there were some thirty attendees, there was unanimous opposition to the proposals.

Visitors
The greatest negative impact of the extension would be the increased difficulty and cost of receiving visitors, whether they are tradespeople, friends, carers or clients. Home workers, such as tutors, who rely on clients visiting their home, would be particularly affected. It is already difficult for residents with no Internet access, especially the elderly, to arrange vouchers for visiting friends, family and helpers, and the increase in hours would exacerbate this. This is not just an issue for car owners. Councillor Caroline Russell states “Islington is a borough where only a third of households even have access to a vehicle”; by this reckoning the two-thirds of residents without cars would be penalised by longer CPZ hours without seeing any benefit whatsoever. Islington’s own CPZ document states “the proposals are aimed at benefiting resident permit holders by providing additional protection for parking, without any extra cost or action needed from them”. There is no mention of benefits to non-permit holders, presumably as there are only disadvantages.

Shops
Shops in our area suffer enough from lack of business. It would be a shame to deter the small yet valuable passing trade by making parking more difficult.

Knock-On Effect
There has been some talk of a ‘knock-on’ effect from changes in other zones. At present there is no appreciable knock-on effect from Zone P; it is unclear how this will increase from the Archway Regeneration considering that all housing developments are car free (or at least permit-free). Neither is there a current overspill from Zone K, day or night; if there were to be a knock-on effect from Zone K becoming 24-hour it would obviously not be mitigated by increasing Zone Z hours to 6.30pm.

Parking in Other Zones
I would also oppose the increases in other zones. I am not alone in having commitments that require travel by car to other parts of the borough on a regular basis. I visit to the Angel area most Saturday afternoons and, although spaces are at a premium around the Angel itself, there is plenty of parking a few streets away. At the moment this is free after 1.30pm; an extension of hours to 11pm seven days a week would certainly rule this out. I have also had to attend the Whittington Hospital at night on numerous occasions, and never has there been a shortage of spaces in Zone K.
AP, Parolles Road, 4/9/15
Following the meeting at Caxton House last night (4 Sep) we are not making much progress. It is however clear that there are very few supporters for the proposals. There are also very few answers to our questions. I am not convinced that Dave taking notes of a raft of further and repeated questions will take us forward. The fact of the matter is that the council will go to any lengths to divert and deflect in hopes that they can further their efforts to get a bit more revenue. Thay are really not interested in parking or traffic flow so waht is the point in talking about to any level of technicality. Do they have any data - no.

As Tim says the more detail we go into and the more questions we ask the more chance there is for “hostages to fortune”, one or two points that the opponent can grasp either to say we are wrong or they are helping in some minute respect. What should we do is the question?

One option is to rely on the overwhealming opposition being reflected in the results and recommendations - no general extension of hours in Zone Z. Can we be sure that sufficient folk will have put aside their belief that “it will make no difference” and vote online. Will they be confused by the odd (and unacceptable) door to door survey? Do we need to consider asking for more time (because none of our questions can now be answerwed in time, give our leader a chance to have his say next week and reflect that say in further voting. It was appropriate that the parking officials could not attend because they were on holiday - qued.

I am inclined to set out the unsatisfactory nature of it all slightly more formally, take it up with the leader, hope for a substantial vote and prepare to respond to any revised proposals. I think we have at least a continuing right of reply if we are not to actually anticipate. Does anyone have the energy to deal with the matter across the table should this be at all available.

I must say I do not understand the St Johns Way issue or the church issue (unless that was funerals.) Whit parking is not presently an issure and I doubt it will become so but I anm try btompursuade zone K to request a couple of 1 hour overnight slots rather than 24/7.or whatever is being proposed.

I have still heard nothing of “Parking for People” or notes of the 19th Aug meeting and am prompting.Caroline Russel.
AP, Parolles Road, 2/9/15
In case these are not asked:

1. Can we be assured that the results of the consultation will be fully and fairly taken into account when decisions are made?
2. Time is short, can we take it that further petitions will be accepted in advance of the council meeting in January?
3. What is the status of the recent market research door step interviews - last Tuesday for me. What questions are being asked and to whom?
4. What is the currently expected impact of Archway regeneration on local parking? Is any evidence to be gathered?
5. Which, if any, of these developments will offer residents parking permits for adjacent street? Why?
6. What is wrong with delaying any decision until any impact from regeneration or any other factor becomes clear.
7. If overnight resident parking becomes full what action will the council take?

There is no major problem in my street. If I return home after 11pm I might have to park 50m away from my door, no big deal. There is no problem at all during the day.
MJ, Whitehall Park, 18/8/15
I entirely agree with Rosemary Seton's view expressed in the letter below. There is no need for this change to the parking hours - the present system works well. The changes will exacerbate costs for residents, costs which are already considerable and there are people (I can think of several neighbours around) who come as family or friends to visit elderly relatives and will now be penalised for doing do. Please let us stick to the existing system.
RS, Gresley Road, 18/8/15
I wish to express my dismay about the proposed extension of parking controls in Zone Z from the current 10 am to 2 pm Mon - Fri to the very much longer hours of 8.30 am to 6.30 pm Mon-Fri and from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm on Saturday. Such an increase, from 20 to 55 hours per week, an increase of 175%, would seem to suggest that the parking situation in the area had greatly deteriorated in the past few years. Yet I and other residents in the area are unaware of any such deterioration. We read that the new parking controls are being brought in to protect residents yet no one in this area, so far as I am aware, has called for controlled hours to be extended.

This mismatch of residents’ experience with Islington Council’s proposals raises considerable disquiet as well as suspicion about ulterior motives. We can only suspect that the true reason for the wholesale extension of parking controls throughout the borough is to boost Council revenues. Does any resident, anywhere, look forward to having to pay out considerably more on vouchers for visitors, builders, plumbers etc., if these parking changes are brought in? and the inevitable fine if you are five minutes late with a scratch card? I note that the free e-vouchers will only apply to parking after 6.30 pm and so will not benefit residents in the Z zone.

It is unfortunate that the period determined for this important consultation is short, and coincides with school holidays when many families are away. I also understand that distribution of the consultation leaflet has been patchy and/or delayed in many cases.

All told the consultation has occasioned a great deal of anger and distrust. It certainly has not improved the mood of residents in this area, already facing the prospect of changes, not all of them good, as a result of the Archway gyratory project. Like all the neighbours to whom I have spoken I think the Council should reconsider their proposals on parking and drastically modify them.
JS, Whitehall Park, 24/7/15
I have recently (belatedly) received the leaflet warning me of the proposal to extend the hours of controlled parking to 8.30 am – 6.30 pm. The justification for these extensions is
“to protect residents from parking pressure from Archway regeneration.” However, no evidence is provided why the regeneration should result in an increase in parking pressure.

Controls were brought in for this area because of problems arising from the increased traffic following the re-building of the Whittington Hospital. After some discussion, it was eventually agreed that the present controlled hours, 10.00 am – 2.00 pm, would be effective in deterring non-residents from using the nearby streets for all-day parking.

On the whole, this compromise has worked quite well. It ensures that, for the most part, residents can find a place to park their cars reasonably close to where they live. It allows
non-residents mostly adequate visiting hours, including the possibility of an over-night stay. Tradesmen’s vehicles can be left, with appropriate payment, for the required period of the day. Carers have the choice of either paying for the non-residents permit or seeing clients in the non-controlled times of the day.

Much of this would be changed if the proposals for the extension of the controlled parking hours were to be implemented. Visitors, particularly those who might be elderly/infirm, would be strongly deterred, with over-night stays becoming either impossible or extremely expensive. Likewise, significant additional expenses would be incurred by tradesmen and carers who would otherwise have to visit in extremely restricted hours. The proposal for controlled parking to be extended to 24hours/day around the hospital would have a devastating effect on the shops and cafés in the area.
However there is nothing to suggest that these great disadvantages would be off-set by better facilities for local residents.

For the above reasons, I strongly urge the Council to reject, or at least significantly modify, these ill-considered proposals.
ER, Harberton Road, 24/7/15
I really don’t want to extend our CPZ hours. At the moment they stop people parking all day which is great. We don’t need further restriction. This incentive is raised on the back of the Archway Regeneration and possible increased parking issues, but the restrictions around Archway (P) and Whittington (K) are already all day long and I notice no impact, so the question about whether we would be for extending hours if neighbouring areas do is irrelevant. The visitors parking vouchers are really expensive, and I think this is a money-making exercise. Perhaps once the regeneration is complete and a problem does appear, then we can address it then, rather than rushing into it. So, as far as I’m concerned, no, no, no!