Monday, 2 April 2012

More LIP service

Picture credit: BBC/Kudos

Continuing with my service to you of the LIP - Local Implementation Plan - we come on to Paid Parking. My comments in red and any bold, italics or underlining adding to Barnet Council text by me.
7.6.18 The forgoing section on residents permit generally applies also to business permits. They are also zone specific and primarily intended to assist businesses that have a need to base vehicles near their premises. A user-friendly system of application and renewal applies, and private vehicles used in connection with a business will be considered for business permits if the business can make a suitable case for this and confirm the vehicle is being used for business purposes.

7.6.19 A regulatory mechanism to deter unnecessary use is price; the fee from April 2005 being £300 per year. There is a limit of 3 permits per business. Now £500 for a specific vehicle registration or £800 for any vehicle registration in case you use hired vehicles regularly.

7.6.20 As with residents permits, the Council considers the value that a permit has to a permit holder, and that an equitable simple cross-borough single charge rate is most appropriate. i.e. one zone business permits cost the same in all zones, not that they can be used in all zones.
7.6.21 Any policy of introducing pro-active zone review will also take into account business parking provision. The Council anticipates that in future further regulation may be needed if take-up exceeds what can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account other needs, and will consider the use of needs-assessments having regard for what used the vehicles are put to, and/or giving consideration to the extent to which off-street parking is available.

7.6.27 Whilst steps are taken through regular market-testing to seek to ensure that the most robust machines are installed to maintain a service for customers, the Council will consider other options – in particular those that offer convenient cashless alternatives. The Council will seek to introduce any new payment regimes in parallel with pay and display so as to retain a pay-with-coin option as not all customers will have access to alternatives. So the council have known all along that offering only one payment choice was not a good idea.

7.6.28 The Council manages parking duration with a non-linear charging regime. Short-stay - less than an hour - is charged at a proportionately lower "per-minute" equivalent rate than the rate for medium-term stay countering the concern expressed by local businesses that the lack of cheap short-term parking may drive away passing and "impulse" trade. Longer stay has a proportionately higher charge thus encouraging turnover. The opposite is now the case in High Barnet Car Parks whose charges are:

30mins £1
1hour £2
90mins £3
over 90mins £5

which leads to the rather odd situation where the 91st minutes costs you £2 and such that stays of 90mins to 150mins cost more per minute than staying all day, although they both cost the same amount. After 2hrs 30mins the stay per minute is cheaper thus making a mockery of stated policy.

In considering tariff and occupancy the Council will take into account local circumstances, and amongst other measures will consider the use as an indicator of an 80% - 85% occupancy rate in line with LPAC recommendations in the past and subsequently endorsed in Traffic Management and Parking Guidance for London by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has issued guidance that car park occupancy rates should be managed so that demand does not excess 85% during peak periods. That is certainly the case in Barnet for all the car parks that I drive past are half empty or more at any time on any day.

7.6.32 There are no current proposals to reduce the availability of long stay parking as it is not seen that where it is currently provided it is affecting availability of short stay or permit parking. This is taken to be a reflection of the situation in an outer-London borough whereby the capacity of streets is not subject to the same parking stress as an inner London authority and yet charges are being increased as if it is the case and comparisons are made with more central boroughs to justify price hikes.

7.6.33 In 2005/6 the Council will be seeking to identify funding to work with Waltham Forest, Enfield and Haringey (the North London Transport Forum members) with a view to introducing discounted or free parking for "green-fuelled" vehicles in an integrated manner across the borough boundaries, the aim being that a scheme covering several boroughs will be more attractive and be more likely to encourage motorists to invest in alternative-fuelled vehicles but we don't care anymore, we just want your money, so your charge has been increased from £15 to £50 for a resident's permit.

7.6.34 The Council does not consider free "limited stay" parking as a useful option for the borough as the enforcement of such parking places is entirely reliant of repeat visits by the same parking attendant who must log details of all legally parked vehicles. This is impracticable given the other commitments on the officer to patrol other streets. Time-restricted parking will therefore be regulated by means that require only a single visit to detect a contravention – currently pay and display. i.e. the residents are here for the convenience of traffic wardens and not the other way around. With pay and display having been abandoned wardens do now have to make two visits to detect a contravention in,say, Hampden Square where there is 30 minutes free parking and which businesses are demanding in other locations to stop them going out of business.

More soon.

In the meantime, if you get a parking ticket, appeal!

Yours appealing

Miss Feezance

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