Friday, 6 January 2012

More LIP - double parking and permits for residents

Here are some more of the broad rules that govern parking policy.

7.5.20 Parked More Than 50cm From The Kerb

This prohibition applied to Barnet with effect from the LLAA 2004.

The point of this rule was to stop people double parking, which used to happen all the time in places like Cavendish Square in central London, and no offence was being committed. I  don't know of anyone who has been ticketed for this in Barnet ( yes, do tell me otherwise ) but the sensible thing to do is to park reasonably close to the kerb, not too near, mind those lovely alloys and the tyre wall, and then you will avoid any problem.

Resident Permit Parking
7.6.3 To manage unnecessary intra-zone short journeys resident parking is zone-specific which completely ignores the fact that Barnet is a borough with an area of 86 sq. kilometres and means that you could do a straight line journey within the borough of about 10 miles which is not a journey that most people are likely to be able to do on foot or by bicycle. I think the council's zone argument is flawed and if you have a permit for one zone you should be able to use it in other zones.

7.6.4 By the same means the Council will also take steps to facilitate the use of courtesy cars if a resident's usual vehicle is not useable. This does not seem to be reality as the below email from a resident shows.

My son was in a car accident.  He rang Parking re dispensation for courtesy car.  Can only get 5 working days dispensation.  Longer than 5 working days either use Parking Voucher (£4 a day) OR switch resident's parking permit to courtesy car (free) BUT to switch back to his own car when repaired will cost admin charge of £20.

7.6.5 A system of reminder letters and automated telephone payment provides for easy renewal when a permit-holder's details remain the same. This means in fact that you will get one reminder letter provided there are not any computer glitches at that time. If you did not receive your reminder letter and then get a PCN this is a good reason to appeal.

7.6.7 The Council will recognise residents as being the regular keeper and user of company cars and hired vehicles for the purpose of permit issue provided suitable proofs are provided. However, if you work for a car dealership and bring a different car home every night there is no permit that you can get from the council to cover this.

7.6.10 As part of the Council's "Cleaner Greener" strategy the charges for a second and subsequent permit per household is higher than the first permit. In 2004/5 a three-tier approach was trialled but it was subsequently decided that the simplicity of a two-tier structure was preferable. A green permit is available at a discount for electric, LPG and similarly fuelled vehicles. The idea of charging more for a third vehicle went by the board as the council were desperate for money from any source. It is unfair as if you have 2 adults at home with 2 adult children who all need a car for work ( all travelling salespeople perhaps or driving instructors or...) then they are making less claim on housing and get penalised and one of them cannot even get a permit. A "green" permit this year at £50 costs more than last year's "petrol" permit at £40!

7.6.11 This is the current strategy, but the Council is also examining the provision of free parking for electric or all green-fuelled vehicles as a further incentive for change. Barnet Council seem to be driving in the opposite direction.

7.6.12 An element of restraint is provided in that there is a "per-household" limit of three permits. Properties in multiple-occupancy will be considered as separate households if each unit is an individual self-contained dwelling. So if you live in a house converted into 5 bedsits then each flat can have a permit.

7.6.14 In setting the charge the Council does so on the basis that aside from covering operational costs, the value of a permit to a holder may also be considered. The ownership of a permit gives the holder a right to use a vacant parking space ( although absolutely no right to a space ) - a right that a person without a permit does not have. Consequently Barnet sets a permit charge that is greater than that required to cover the operational costs of running a permit parking scheme in reflection of this value. Consideration will be given to affirming this by making a policy statement "freezing" the permit value in real terms, increasing it only in line with inflation. Inflation in Barnet in 2011 suddenly shot up to 150%.

7.6.16 As much of the borough is relatively recently controlled by CPZs the parking provision generally remains that provided after the initial consultation, implementation and six-month review. The Council intends to apply a policy of pro-active zone review as it is likely that local changes in land use will have changed the balance of local demand. Pro-active zone review does not often occur.

Remember if you get a Penalty Charge Notice take a good look at it, talk to friends and neighbours who might be good at these things or send it to me to look at to see if it is properly issued. You will be amazed how often the council gets something wrong.
Yours appealingly
Miss Feezance

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