Thursday, 16 February 2012

Let's all move to Ealing where they have a council that listens

New stop and shop proposals

picture credit - Presumably a Stop & Shop shopper. Shop looks nice.
The council is soon to start consultation around extending the period of maximum stay for stop and shop bays at selected locations to allow motorists to stay beyond the current free period.
No decisions have yet been taken and full consultation will be carried out before any changes are implemented.
The proposals are intended to give extra flexibility to motorists and business customers so that they can stay a little longer, while continuing to prevent long stay and commuter parking.
Under the plans motorists would use the pay by phone system to extend their parking period.
The proposal will not make any amendments to the existing free stop and shop time. Motorists will be able to park for the initial free period in the same way as is currently practised. If they do not want to extent their stay they will not have to register for the pay by phone service or make any phone calls or send any text messages.
Motorists wanting to extend their stay beyond the current free period will use the council’s pay by phone service to extend their period of parking for a flat fee of £1.80, plus the service charge of 20 pence, which is applied by the telephone payment provider.
The proposal is to allow motorists to stay for an additional two hours in all cases. This means that in locations where there is currently a free period of 30 minutes the maximum stay will be two hours and 30 minutes, in cases where there is a free period of 60 minutes the maximum stay will be three hours and in cases where the free period is two hours, the maximum stay will be four hours.

A formal consultation will take place where the council will work with and involve the ward forums, local businesses and residents in the areas where it is proposed it might be suitable to trial the scheme. Everyone will have the opportunity to have their say or make any suggestions that they think may improve the scheme’s implementation.
The current proposed locations for consultation are:

  • Lady Margaret Road, Greenford (O/S No. 462), on slip road
  • The Uxbridge Road (Nr Ealing Common Station)
  • Pitshanger Lane, W5
  • Lady Margaret Road, Greenford (O/S No. 462), on highway
  • Singapore Road
  • The Broadway, Southall (O/S Lidl)
  • The Broadway, Southall (O/S Lidl)
  • Crown Street, Acton
  • Horn Lane, Acton (Opposite Stuart Road)
  • Leeland Terrace
  • Alfred Road, Acton
  • Ruislip Road, Greenford (O/S No.3)
What a pity that Barnet Council don't listen to businesses like Ealing do.

Could this be part of the reason why the shops of Ealing Broadway are so numerous?

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Thursday, 9 February 2012

30 minutes free, or not? Hampden Sq N14 and Mowbray Parade HA8

Hampden SQ, N14

I see that, like everywhere else in Barnet, the traders of Hampden Sq are up in arms about parking. I don't think that their tactic of not paying their business rates is the correct one, but it is understandable. You lose the moral high ground by not paying your bills. A new strategy is required. However what is clear is that the traders are upset because their livelihoods are at risk. See the report in the Barnet Times here. 

Miss Feezance knows this area well as she used to work less than a mile down the road. There isn't much to keep a girl happy shopping here for hours but it is a useful local resource. I must go back and try the diner one day soon. I don't remember there ever being a problem parking there as the turnover of cars is rapid. All that is really needed is a 1 hour waiting restriction to stop the shopkeepers parking outside their shops and preventing their own customers from parking. The council should encourage shopkeepers to use the Osidge Lane car park and make it free if it isn't already free.

I found this link saying that the traders had asked for parking restrictions. If you are a trader from Hampden Sq please use the comment box below. So when meters existed it was easy to get a free ticket and place it in your car and it was more efficient for the council.

Now that there are no meters the situation is harder. The free 30 minutes still exist but does it say that on the sign? No it doesn't. The sign is at the top of the page. So most people think that to get free parking you have to register to PayByPhone and then use a text or a phone call to pay ( which costs a few pence ) and pay a 10p admin fee. Not quite free then, the free parking and it takes most of your free 30 minutes.

A friend asked the council if this was the case and here is the polite answer she received.

Thank you for sharing your query with this department.

Firstly may I apologise for the delay in responding to you. It is not the London Borough of Barnet’s intention to delay responding to an enquiry such as yours. We value your custom and feedback, and hope our relationship with you can continue in a positive light.

Having spoken with the Parking Enforcement Team I can confirm that at present there are only two locations within the borough that allow 30 minutes of free parking. The locations are Hamden Square N14 which you are already aware of and Mowbray Parade HA8.

The enforcement procedure for these locations are if a Civil Enforcement Officer observes a vehicle parked in a Payment to Park place, a period of 30 minutes observation must be given. If no payment is made after the 30 minutes a Penalty Charge Notice can be issued. On arrival at the above locations the driver need not display a Parking Voucher or call the PayByPhone service, you merely park up and return within 30 minutes to remove the vehicle.

I hope this email has been of some assistance to you.

Yours Sincerely

Parking Quality and Customer Service Officer

It is a pity that the council have not put up clearer signs.

If you have received a parking ticket and only stayed 30 minutes or less then you should appeal it. If you have already paid one in error then why not ask for your money back.

Shopkeepers: why not campaign for the removal of the CPZ? The council really cannot be making much money out of it.

Mowbray Parade HA8

I didn't know straight away where this Parade is. I looked on a map and it is on the A41 heading towards the Stonegrove Estate. I looked on Streetmap and it really is similar to Hampden Square in that it is just a few shops which simply need a short time restriction to encourage a rapid turnover of shoppers. The shopkeepers need to get together and talk to their councillors about another solution. We need these small parades as they are helpful for all the people who are at home in the day and they contribute to Big Society and society in general.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow - parking tickets freeze

I don't recommend parking here

 Picture courtesy of Nancy Colella, Painter

Don't go buying a parking ticket today in Golders Green ( one of the few zones which operates on a Sunday ) or worry about parking on double yellow lines that are covered by snow because in order to issue a ticket the lines must be clearly visible to the CEO. Any lines that are covered in snow simply do not count. A motorist, who could be a stranger to the area, simply cannot be expected to know what colour of line, if any, is under 10cm of snow and where they start or finish.

Hopefully the CEO will not be coming out until the snow and subsequent slush has all gone. 

It is possible that you will return home in the snow and park in what you think is the residents parking bay and accidentally leave a wheel, or even your whole car, out of the bay ( similar to how the fog plays tricks with our memories ) and you are out at work on the day that the snow melts away and the CEOs are rushing around trying to get back up to quota and you then get a parking ticket. My advice is to appeal any such ticket on the grounds that you tried your best to abide by the law and that you moved your vehicle as soon as you could after the snow had cleared. The council has a duty to be fair and should cancel a ticket issued in such circumstances.

You also need to act sensibly and not park where you know it is silly or dangerous.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance