Council services by letter

Agenda item

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Deputations

To receive deputations (if any) under the provisions of Executive Procedure Rule 48 (Part 4D of the Constitution).

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That, in accordance with Executive Procedure Rule 16 (Part 4B of the Constitution), the following two deputations be received:

 

1.            To oppose the proposed Controlled Parking schemes (CPZ) in the area of Whitchurch Gardens. Queries related to the need for a CPZ; Issues with social isolation of residents who are home during the CPZ hours; Concerns with wording and information contained in the consultation documents.

 

The deputee made the following points:

 

·           the deputation was backed by a petition signed by over 140 residents.  Some of the petitioners had initially been in favour of a CPZ but had subsequently changed their minds.  The petition and the deputation called on the Council to review how traffic and parking could be controlled in the area without the imposition of an unacceptable CPZ scheme;

 

·           residents were dissatisfied with the scheme proposals, the consultation process and furthermore had not been made aware of the stakeholder meeting regarding the issue;

 

·           on the whole, residents in Whitchurch Gardens parked on their own drives and their visitors usually found parking spaces reasonably close by. It should be noted that there was significant overnight and weekend parking from non-commuters;

 

·           small businesses in the area and emergency services were also affected and these stakeholders had not been consulted;

 

·           Whitchurch Gardens was a wide road with no through traffic and any parking there did not create congestion.  There were double yellow lines on corners to promote safe parking;

 

·           the phrasing of the questions in the stage 2 consultation document were biased in favour of promoting a yes response to the CPZ. Furthermore, the information sheet included with the questionnaire provided misleading information about the availability of visitor parking permits;

 

·           single yellow lines on dropped kerbs would affect the large number of residents who regularly dropped off or picked up passengers;

 

·           the limited availability of visitor permits was inadequate to meet the level of need in the street.  These factors would

 

-        lead to social isolation as visiting family, friends, healthcare professionals would have difficulty parking;

-        inhibit the large number of community and religious activities that took place and would have a negative impact on community vibrancy;

 

-        there was also a trend locally to pave over front gardens for parking spaces, which led to a loss of biodiversity and drainage;

 

·           in conclusion, on-street parking spaces were generally available on Whitchurch Gardens, most residents parked in their own drives, there were no parking congestion issues and therefore a CPZ was not required or desired by local residents.

 

A Member stated that the deputee had put forward a strong case on behalf of the  residents of Whitchurch Gardens, the majority of whom were not in favour of the CPZ.  He urged the Panel not to include Whitchurch Gardens in the CPZ.  He noted that a small group of residents had successfully campaigned for a number of years for a CPZ in the area.  He added that the consultation results indicated that the vast majority of residents on St. Lawrence Close and Winton Gardens were in favour of a CPZ and he had concerns regarding the impact of displaced parking in the area in the future.

 

An officer responded as follows:

 

·           the deputee’s feedback regarding the consultation documents was noted and consultation processes would be reviewed to see if any improvements could be made. However, the officer  explained that the Panel had originally been of the view that the petitioners had made a strong case for the implementation of a CPZ in the area and the scheme had therefore been included in the programme and taken forward to consultation.  He confirmed that the review of the consultation results were showing opposition to a scheme in Whitchurch Gardens and therefore the consultation process had reaffirmed the deputees views and he confirmed that the deputees had been advised before the meeting that Whitchurch Gardens would not be included in the proposed CPZ scheme.

 

2.            Deputation from Harrow Cyclists in response to the councils LIP3 consultation.

 

The deputee made the following points:

 

·           the timescales between the deadline for the submission of the LIP3 consultation questionnaires and the deadline for the final submission of documents were tight and she sought assurance from traffic officers that all consultation responses would be fully taken into consideration;

 

·           Harrow Cyclists supported the promotion of both walking and cycling in the borough and were of the view that the proposals contained in the draft LIP 3 fell short of what was needed;

 

·           the key recommendations of the LIP 3 supported the Council’s commitment to the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy that 80% of all journeys in London should be made by foot, bicycle or public transport by 2041. The LIP should focus on making cycling more attractive and dis-incentivising driving;

 

·           many people who owned bicycles were not confident about cycling in traffic. Policy C3 give priority to recreational cycling as an alternative to driving, however, this was not supported by the LIP proposals.  For example, the proposals sought to increase short stay shopper parking which would encourage and enable journeys by car rather than those by bike.  It also supported the status quo and did not contain any new measures aimed at achieving behaviour change and modal shift;

 

·           the key barriers to cycling were  traffic density, road safety, congestion, air pollution, inconsiderate driver behaviour, poor infrastructure, lack of access to important locations in the borough by bike and safety issues.  The proposed measures would do nothing to address these key barriers.  Furthermore, no targets regarding how car journeys would be reduced had been set;

 

·           3 key conclusions from a recent review of London Cycle Networks Plus  revealed that shared use paths did not work either for cyclists or pedestrians; dealing with dangerous junctions was crucial and; proposed the introduction of a default 20mph speed limit throughout the borough;

 

·           on the whole, the proposals prioritised car drivers over cyclists by compelling cyclists to take the longer route while enabling motorists to take the shortest routes;

 

·           Harrow cyclists had submitted a large number of suggestions to improve the proposals contained in the LIP3 and  listed the following 3 key recommendations which had been proven to work elsewhere:

 

-       low traffic neighbourhoods which were cheap and quick to implement in minor residential streets by using filtered permeability;

 

-       removing rat runs would significantly improve air quality and life expectancy;

 

-       segregated cycle routes along major roads (safe dedicated cycling spaces would encourage more people to cycle);

 

·           these 3 recommendations had been shown to work elsewhere and in their view could work equally well in Harrow.

 

Officers responded as follows:

 

·           the officer reassured the deputee that all consultation returns including that from Harrow Cyclists would be given sufficient time to be fully considered;

 

·           all consultation responses would be reviewed, proposed changes to the plan developed and recommendations presented at the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 13th November ,which would provide a further opportunity to scrutinise the proposals;

 

·           the policies contained in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy were ambitious, and that a shift to 80% of all journeys by walking, cycling and public transport would happen more slowly in car dominated areas such as, outer London boroughs and therefore implementing changes would be more challenging  to implement;

 

·           the way to encourage a greater uptake of cycling was through both improving the infrastructure and encouraging changes in behaviours and attitudes of the travelling public;

 

·           implementing segregated cycle tracks on main roads would be difficult to achieve in Harrow as this would require a more detailed assessment of the impact on the network, including traffic modelling.  He added that in recent years TfL had reduced the amount of overall LIP funding to boroughs, however, in Harrow the proportion of Harrow’s LIP funding for cycling initiatives has been increased significantly in recent years.