The CPZ debate - more fat to chew on

Brockley Central has been copied in on a discussion between Cllr Vincent Davis (Ladywell Ward) and a local resident Andrew, concerned about the nature of the proposed expansion of the Controlled Parking Zone around Ladywell Station.

Cllr Davis' email to residents on this issue makes a couple of points that are worth considering if you live in this area or any other part of the borough considering a CPZ expansion.

Firstly, the Council now regards CPZs as a legitimate form of revenue raising. Secondly, Council officers are opposed to designing a scheme that places restrictions on parking during the middle of the day (punishing commuters who drive in to the area, but not residents who drive to work).

Cllr Davis says:

"Of course it is fair to say even if the council does not actively try to extend controlled parking to earn additional revenue it does improve its financial position by raising charges. The Deputy Mayor's answer to my question shows that the Ladywell scheme is expected to have a surplus of income over expenditure of £32,000. However it has set up costs of £110,000 and will take 3 - 4 years for the CPZ to pay this back. After that date it will contribute the balance to other highways and pavements expenditure.

"Obviously this improves the council's position as this is expenditure that does not have to be funded by Council Tax or funding from HM Government. Ideally parking charges should be kept down but in a fiscal environment where HM Govt cuts grants and imposes a freeze on Council Tax it is inevitable charges will rise...

"Lots of people suggest that the zone does not operate all day as it outs off people having visitors/contractors come to their home and/or they have to pay for them. A zone with a shorter period of operation could work by putting off all day parkers while allowing local residents to use their cars and have visitors. Council officers have objected on the basis that this may mean the scheme does not generate enough income.

"As the Deputy Mayor's answer to my first question shows the main income comes from the sale of permits, not Pay and Display. I suspect if there was a CPZ that operated just for a couple of hours during the day then many residents who take their cars to work during the day would not bother to by permits. This would deprive the scheme of income but more importantly those residents may benefit from the scheme keeping other commuters away so that they may park outside of the scheme's operation but others residents will be paying for it. The solution may be to have a scheme which operates in the early morning and/or the late afternoon/early evening leaving the middle of the day free for residents to receive visitors. Please see the recommendations made by the Sustainable Development Committee."

As Andrew says in response:

"I hope this gets thought through some more before imposed on us all. The residents are not the problem here, so solutions should target the problem and minimise impact on residents. And this should not be a profit making exercise! Expanding the zone out should also enable you to reduce the permit costs and the operating costs will be spread across more people."