What's wrong with the new parking scheme?
Some residents in Zone JJ will feel that the new parking scheme has made it easier to park, particularly on match days, and wonder why we should oppose it. There are four reasons.
- The first, is that the scheme has a fatal flaw. It does not, provide real protection for residents. Anyone can use the bays in Zone JJ and given the demand for parking, this is bound to mean that over time:
- more Westfield shoppers will discover that for shorter visits, Zone JJ offers cheaper and more convenient parking than Westfield itself: compared with the £2.90 an hour that Westfield charges for the first three hours, it is only costs £2.20 an hour in Zone JJ; parking in Zone JJ also avoids congestion around the Green and the occasional gridlock at Westfield
- more football supporters discover that Zone JJ offers inexpensive and convenient parking on match days
- more worshippers at the mosque and local churches used to having to pay to park, they will obviously do so in Zone JJ
- cars parked on single yellow lines may be displaced into local residential streets as the Council begins enforcing the new restrictions on such parking.
- Indeed, at times, some Zone JJ residents living near the Uxbridge Road in Zone JJ are already experiencing significant parking problems. This is likely to get worse and spread ever deeper into the Zone.
- The second problem is that in return for the - far from certain - improvement some Zone JJ residents have experienced, everyone, including these residents themselves, are now paying a high price in inconvenience and – often – expense, when they have evening or weekend visitors.
It is particularly difficult for those with young families, dependent on help from parents. It is also hitting the elderly, who often live for visits from their children.
- Thirdly, what the Council has done, is damaging our community. The churches and mosque, provide help for many. The new parking scheme is undermining their ability to do so. St. Stephen’s, on the Uxbridge Road, is typical. It runs a meal for homeless people on Monday nights but after the new scheme was introduced, found they were losing volunteers because there was nowhere for them to park. Other activities have suffered too. It all has a knock-on effect on the poor and most vulnerable in our community.
- Fourthly, the new parking scheme has actually made parking problems worse for large numbers of residents. Many streets in Zone J are now – as everyone predicted they would – suffering extreme parking stress because of what the Council has done.
All these outcomes were foreseen by the majority of residents who – overwhelmingly – rejected the Council's proposals during the 2015 consultation. So how did they come to be implemented in 2016?
Next: Some of the distress it is causing