The Cabinet met on Monday and decided to create five new zones in addition to the MB extension. This page will be updated in the next few days with further details. In the meantime below is the text of an e-mail sent yesterday explaining what happened

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Somewhat unexpectedly, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet today decided to deal with the problems that would arise from extending residents’ parking around Fawcett Road by creating another five new zones! At the meeting this afternoon the Cabinet changed its own recommendation - dropping the free scratch cards plan entirely and instead proposing new zones in Kings’ North, Kings’ South, Owens’ Gardens, east of Francis Avenue and between Waverley Road and St Ronans Road in addition to the advertised Fawcett Road area extension. No boundary maps are available at this point, but if the ensuing surveys are in favour of the plans there will be residents’ only restrictions right the way across to Winter Road/St Ronans Road.  

The original Cabinet plan to extend restrictions to the Fawcett Road area would have caused a serious displaced parking problem across a large area. Many of the roads outside the zone are already at capacity and pushing hundreds of extra cars into them would inevitably lead to problems. These new zones will however still have negative effects on the streets outside – it’s just that it is a different area that will be hit.

It is not clear whether the new zones will operate around the clock or just for part of the day. In many parts of London, particularly near public transport stations, restrictions apply only for an hour daily and this may be what they go for. Nor is it clear how all these schemes will fit together; at the meeting it emerged that the Fawcett Road scheme may be up and running by mid-February, whereas new surveys will take an extended period to conduct. Many of the proposed zones are in areas that would not currently support a scheme; for example the one in Eastney and Craneswater ward (Waverley Road) is perhaps 60:40 against at present, although if restrictions are to be introduced elsewhere this may change.

Had 251 people not signed the petition against the MB extension and had many dozens not turned up at the meeting, the originally proposed MB extension would have gone through as published: this was after all the Cabinet’s scheme from the start. Our view remains that given the unique circumstances in Orchard Road, where the streets inside the zone are now deserted, the best thing to do would be to suspend its implementation entirely. Frankly it is hard to know whether what happened today is a victory or not. The Cabinet has however gone back on its earlier statement that there would be no other new schemes (see http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/plug-is-pulled-on-more-residents-parking-schemes-in-portsmouth-1-5091560).

Regards

 

Luke Stubbs and Linda Symes

 

 

PS More information will appear at www.lukestubbs.com/parking as it becomes available

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The council's Cabinet will decide on Monday 4th November whether to extend the MB parking zone down to Albert Road. This change would be damaging to Craneswater because it would mean displaced parking coming our way; the Cabinet has also already said it will not create any further areas, so even if the situation becomes intolerable nothing will be done.

This item came up at short notice, so apologies that all this is a rush job.

The petition - 251 signatures gathered. Thank you

Cabinet papers

The official report and supporting map is available here. See item 7.

The proposal

The details are contained in the report above, but in summary the zone would cover about 30 roads in an area bound by the existing Orchard Road zone, Francis Avenue, Albert Road, Lawrence Road, Campbell Road and Outram Road. This decision follows a survey carried out in 2012, which found support in a majority of roads in the area. The west most part of the survey area reaching out to Bath Road was opposed and this area has been deleted from the proposal. Many other roads got a 50:50 response from residents.

Demand for this zone has been driven in large part from displaced parking from other schemes. Although not mentioned in the report, the Somerstown and Orchard Road zones have lead to renewed demand for residents' parking in the area south of Campbell Road, including Oxford and Chelsea Roads among others. This however will not be met; the Cabinet has said it cannot afford to create any further zones. It would be naive however to think that extending this zone will not lead to demand for new areas to be created to the south and west. The council officers recognise this, which is one of the reasons why they oppose this proposal.

In a departure from practice in other areas, the Cabinet also plans to give residents in the south-of-Campbell Road area referred to above some free scratchcards to allow them to park within the zone. This cards will be given for the first two years only, although the report leaves open the option of extending this. It also recognises the legal problems in treating residents in different areas differently and the potential for legal challenge that results.

Why it's bad news for people in this area

In a word displacement. While there would still be several hours free parking for non-residents, many classes of vehicle would no longer be able to park in the zone and will therefore have to seek spaces elsewhere. This includes Albert Road shop workers, students who do not re-register their cars, works vans, taxis, patrons of the Kings' Theatre and third cars.

The image below taken from a leaflet that went out at an earlier stage in this process makes the point.

Scheme history and process

A new residents' parking scheme has to jump through the following hoops before it can be introduced:-

  • Cabinet or Cabinet Member decision to carry out a survey
  • Cabinet or Cabinet Member decision to accept the results
  • Cabinet or Cabinet Member decision to advertise a Traffic Regulation Order (this is usually dealt with the above)
  • Cabinet Member decision on objections to said Traffic Regulation Order
The first and second steps are complete. The first was agreed on 12th June 2012 and the second on XXXX. On both occasions I objected to the proposals primarily because of the knock-on impact they would have elsewhere. The third stage is what is being considered on Monday. Uniquely it will be going to the Full Cabinet - every other such scheme has been decided by the member for Traffic and Transportation alone. While there will have to be a fourth meeting if this is approved, this is the crunch meeting.

What you can do

The Cabinet meeting is on Monday 4th November 2013 at 12pm. Residents can make deputations provided they give 24 working hours notice. Contact Joanne Wildsmith (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to arrange. Note that the total amount of time for deputations is limited, so the more people register to speak, the less time each will have.

Also please sign the petition (click here). Given the short time scales, getting a decent number of signatures is going to be very difficult and from experience I know online petitions always start slowly. Still we have to try.