Council accused of 'going into the commuter parking business'
There has been a furious reaction to proposals to change current CPZs and introduce shared use parking bays across Ealing Borough.
The Council are planning to redesignate a number of spaces allowing them to be used by anyone with a RingGo parking account rather than just holders of residents' permits. The changes (which have not been widely publicised) would initially affect zones L, MM, B, R, & M covering Friars Green, Chiswick and Southall areas. However, it's believed the council intend to introduce the scheme throughout Ealing over the next 12 months.
According to Council notices, the new bays would be by ‘flank walls only' rather than outside residents' homes. It is understood that parking could be bought on the same basis as visitors' parking. Parking will be available at the same rates as for parking for residents' visitors. It is possible to pre-book parking spaces for more than one day on RingGo and extend a parking session remotely. Free stop and shop spaces will also be scrapped as part of the plan.
Liberal Democrat Councillor, Gary Malcolm, has outlined why the changes are a bad idea:
One local resident contacted us to say, “This is purely and simply the Council going into the commuter parking business to raise revenue at the expense of residents. The Friars Green area will be the cheapest place to leave your car all day near Crossrail as you commute to your job in the City. Holiday makers will also leap at the chance to dump their car near a handy interchange for Heathrow.''
Cllr Malcolm says he has has been inundated with responses from other residents angry about the proposals and adds, ''As soon as the elections were over the Council just seemed to want to introduce these changes without properly consulting. If the Council thinks it should introduce a scheme that 98% of people do not want then they should think again. Make sure you give your views to the Council so they know what you think of their crazy idea.”
An Ealing Council spokesperson told us that the proposed changes support the parking review strategy approved in 2016 ''ensuring suitable parking options for all road users'' adding, '' By identifying under-utilised and suitable kerbside space, CPZs will provide shared-use parking options, ensuring that parking is not exclusive to one set of users and is made available for all. More efficient use of parking will be designed and priced to reflect the value of the space, consequently improving parking provision while helping to fund concessionary bus fares and transport schemes in the borough.''
In response to concerns raised over the use of residential spaces by non-residents for extended periods the council say, '' In terms of non-residents being able to top up their stay indefinitely, while this technically may be possible, users may only pay for one day of parking at a time and from our observations of similar bays in the borough, this is a very rare practice. A number of existing shared-use bays are located within walking distance from Ealing Broadway station, and the council notes that these operate satisfactorily without imposing on the parking needs of residents. The bays proposed for shared-use parking, are in locations where the parking appears under-utilised and able to accommodate visitor parking without encroaching on the needs of residents. However, these arrangements are not set in stone, and should it become apparent that the arrangements are impacting on residents’ ability to park near their homes, the council will review and amend the parking as necessary.''
The Transport Strategy report is to be discussed before Cabinet 5 June and could be implemented from the 18 June.
The deadline for submitting comments on this scheme is 11 June. You should email them to highwayServices@ealing.gov.uk quoting ORDER 4114 include your postal address.
31 May 2018