I have spoken to SKDC and they tell me that everyone on the waiting list for permits has been contacted now and permits have been issued. They still have spare permits available for anyone who has missed out or moves into the area. Let me know if you hear otherwise!
I am also keeping tabs on the review of the operation of the scheme which SKDC will undertake shortly. They are waiting a while before commencing this in order to capture the impact of the additional permits. I have not heard of any particular issues arising since the additional permits were issued, but please let me know if things have changed.
I am also keen to hear of any issues that need to be brought to the council's attention. Thanks to earlier input from you all I was able to provide the following list to SKDC for inclusion in the review.
Permit Waiting List
This has now been addressed, but was the single biggest issue I heard about. If you do extend the zone northwards the argument for limiting permits to 50% of the spaces becomes weaker as these streets are almost exclusively used by residents.
Spaces outside the Town Hall
The spaces there used to be only available for parking in the evenings (single yellow line) or a taxi rank on Fridays. Use of these for parking during the day significantly restricts the southbound flow of traffic at peak times, particularly as the lights are green only for a short time. It may be possible to convert the time restricted bays at the East end of Bath row to shared use if additional permit parking is needed in an alternate location.
The signage for Friday use of this bay as a Taxi Rank is not seen (or ignored) by many shoppers, particularly blue badge holders. As a result the taxis don't really use this. Is this the best place for the taxi rank?
St Paul's St
There are several problems here that compound to make this street an issue, particularly after 6pm. Something needs to be done here:
· Disabled bays near the Toby Norris are redundant as more spaces are available to blue badge holders who use the double yellow lines. Sadly, those who park half on double yellows and half in the bays get a ticket.
· The loading bay outside M&S is often unusable due to the blue badge parking on the double yellow lines on the other side of the street. These often cause obstruction, particularly near the corner, but CEOs are unable to issue penalties for obstruction - only the police.
· When the M&S delivery lorry parks there it uses the pavement to park (presumably to leave sufficient gap to cars parked on the double yellow lines) - obstructing the pavement and also breaking it up. Is the solution to put more bollards on the pavement and to use red lines instead of yellow ones on the other side?
· In the evenings the single yellow line on the south side of the street is used for parking. However cars also park on the north side where they always used to. This means that there is sometimes not enough room for the lorries to get down the road. The single yellow line also permits parking opposite the end of Star Lane, often making it difficult for turning traffic. Is the solution to swap the single and double yellows round? Note the new houses being built may require changes to the location of the disabled bays anyway.
St Leonard's St
It seems that this area is less well visited by the CEOs and cars are parked for days at a time with no permit; sometimes on double yellow lines; for example
· One case involved a car parked outside a house for several days in order to sell it but displaying no permit whatsoever.
· Another was a Range Rover parked for several days on double yellow lines opposite a house and then moved to the other side and parked for weeks on a one day visitor's permit showing the same date the whole time.
The original plan and recommendation by SKDC was for the bay in Broad St to the East of Newgates to be part of the scheme - in fact the latest letter you sent out advising of suspension of the scheme for the fair still listed it as being inside the zone. Can this be added back into the zone when you next undergo a TRO consultation?
The streets outside the North of the Zone (New Cross Road, King St etc) are used by Residents inside the zone who either have more than one car or have not been able to obtain a permit. Extending the zone to include these roads may be necessary (but I think increasing the number of permits will help significantly - you should be able to see how many on the waiting list live in Conduit Rd / Vine St / Bentley St / Recreation Ground Road). Scotgate, Rock Road and Adelaide Street are also affected by displacement/workers parking and have requested that they are included in the review.
The residents Church Lane / Wothorpe Road are badly affected by rail commuters seeking free parking and would like to have zone restrictions introduced.
There is extensive use of the grass verges to create parking spaces. These do not appear to be policed by the CEOs.
One of the bays is too short by about 50cm to accommodate 2 cars. Can this be extended?
The fact that businesses have permits that enables them to park causes adverse comments, particularly the more residential streets (Barn Hill / St Mary's)
1 Permit per Household
I have had requests for this limit to be removed as it causes difficulty in finding legitimate spaces for those residents with more than one car. I have also had requests that it is not changed as to do so would put even more pressure on the available spaces. Is a solution to make significant residents' discounts available for the short and long term car parks? Particularly Cattle Market which is not heavily used most of the time.
If you have anything to add, please let me know.
Finally, I am aware of some residents who are regularly swapping permits to enable them to park two cars within the zone. If you are doing this I would love to hear more about your experiences of doing this.