Zone J Parking campaign

The Consultation

A Fatally Flawed Consultation

The Zone J/JJ Consultation, launched on 3rd June, is fatally flawed.

It is causing immense confusion and concern.

The Zone J Parking Campaign is seeking legal advice.

Many people have looked at the plan in the Consultation Document labelled: ‘Option 2: Indicative Plan’ and concluded – rightly – that the parking scheme it presents could not possibly deal with parking problems in Zone J/JJ and that they therefore have no choice but to vote for Option 1.

The problem is compounded by the fact that the questionnaire asks whether residents are in favour of Option 2 as illustrated by this plan.

The trouble is, the plan does not illustrate Option 2. What it shows is a gross distortion of Option 2, which can only mislead residents and manipulate them into voting for Option 1.

This invalidates the entire consultation.

It is important to compare the differences between the quite fictional parking scheme shown in the Indicative Plan – and the scheme the Council has – despite its preference for Option 1, agreed to introduce, should residents support Option 2.

For example, under Option 2, it has been agreed that initially, 35% of shared-bays would be turned into permit-only bays

  • the plan shows just 12.5%.

It has been agreed that more permit-only bays would be provided near the Uxbridge Road

  • the plan shows fewer bays

It had been agreed that streets/street sections near the Uxbridge Road would have more permit-only bays than those further away

  • the plan shows them having fewer.

Compared with the 40-50% or more, permit-only bays they are likely to need:

  • Ingersoll, Ethelden and Arminger Roads are shown as having only 11% bays
  • Loftus Road, 9%
  • Hetley Road, 8%
  • Warbeck Road, 6 %
  • a long section of Stanlake Road, only 3%

It is outrageous that the plan shows

  • Ingersoll, Ethelden and Arminger Roads are shown as having only 11% bays
  • Thornfield Road as getting no permit-only bays
  • Ethelden Road, none
  • Bloemfontein Road, none
  • Scotts Road, none.

It is astonishing that the streets with the least parking stress, are shown as having the most permit only bays.

The plan does not illustrate Option 2. It could not possibly work. The only outcome possible from its inclusion is that residents will be mislead and therefore manipulated into voting for the Option 1.

It is important to look at the real Option 2, not the fictitious one presented in the Consultation Document.

  • The priority of the real Option 2 is to protect those residents with cars.

    • there was a lot of discussion about whether the initial figure of 35% permit-only bays would be enough to do this.
    • the Council argued, perfectly reasonably, that such bays become so popular with residents, they are difficult to remove, even if there is over provision; on the other hand, they said, it is very easy to increase the number, which can be done “literally overnight”.
    • the Council promised that although it thought the overall total of 35% would be enough (because residents park in the most convenient bays, regardless of whether they are ‘permit-only’ or ‘shared-bays’) it would nevertheless monitor the scheme and increase the number if necessary.

  • the real Option 2 though, comes with much wider advantages than just helping us park

    • it provides free evening and weekend parking for residents’ visitors, either in the permit-only bays, using Ringo or – without the fuss of Ringo – in shared bays, with the convenient 9 to 5 hours, five days a week.
    • it helps the majority of our community, who do not have cars, by making it easier, in the evenings and at weekends, to have friends and family visit them (Option 1 makes this more difficult).
    • it helps the vulnerable and elderly in our community, who are incapable of using Ringo to manage their visitors’ parking, but still depend on visits from family and friends. (Option 1 again, makes it more difficult for such people).
    • it helps important local businesses, such as the Nepalese or Thai Restaurants, whose competitors elsewhere in central London all enjoy free evening and at least free Sunday parking. (Option 1 does nothing for them).
    • it helps local places of worship, which provide important help for many in our community and aids its cohesion and diversity, something we ignore at our peril. (Option 1 undermines places of worship).

The Campaign’s Aim is not to impose Option 2 but to ensure there is informed discussion and a fair, democratic vote about it.

What the Council has done – by adding a plan which manipulates people into voting for its preferred option – clearly prevents this.

The Campaign, which is protesting to the Council, says it has failed in its legal duty to ensure that consultees are accurately informed about the choices they are offered.