Planning and design of CPZs
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The days and hours when the controlled parking zones operate are shown at the entry point into a zone on zone entry signs. They are not displayed in each street or near each parking bay in the CPZ.
The schemes operate during the working day on either Monday-Friday or Monday-Saturday. During this period many spaces are reserved for resident permit holders and visitor permit holders, with a number of pay-and-display spaces provided for visitors to the area who do not have permits.
Outside these hours and on Christmas Day, Good Friday and all Bank Holidays, parking is uncontrolled except on double yellow lines.
Every year more and more cars use our streets increasing pressures on already overcrowded roads. In many places residents now find it difficult to park anywhere near their homes. This can present major difficulties to some people, for example parents with young children, people carrying heavy shopping, and the elderly and less mobile people, and seriously affects their quality of life.
Areas where there is very heavy pressure on parking space are often found near railway stations, shops, hospitals and colleges. Sometimes quite a large area is affected, but in other cases problems are concentrated in just a few streets.
A CPZ can sometimes resolve these difficulties. The main purpose of CPZs is to manage overcrowding. They help to control intrusive parking by limiting or eliminating commuter parking and giving priority to residents and to short term parking for shoppers, visitors and social users.
We also use CPZs to help the regeneration of town centres. All space other than residents and business parking space in a CPZ is short stay space. This ensures that there is more space available for people making short trips to the shops or to use local facilities.
CPZs also help to improve the local quality of life by removing obstructive parking from junctions and corners and allowing free access for local people and the emergency services.
Does Lewisham set up CPZs simply to make money?
Lewisham does make money from parking, but this is not the primary aim of CPZs.
Controlled parking zones serve a traffic management purpose. Areas where residents request parking controls are very often around stations. They find that parking during the day in roads close to stations becomes virtually impossible because all the space is taken up by commuters.
If we can limit end destination parking we can start to influence the mode of transport people choose. We would like commuters to travel their entire journey on public transport rather than cause congestion on the roads and clog up our residential streets by commuting to stations within Lewisham.
Government guidance (Operational Guidance to Local Authorities: Parking Policy and Enforcement - Traffic Management Act 2004) requires all Councils to ensure that their Parking Control Accounts are self-financing.
The revenue is raised from a combination of:
income received through penalty charge notices
and pay and display income.
Revenue received is used to maintain the signs and lines and to provide regular enforcement by our civil enforcement officers.
We only introduce CPZs when a majority of residents who respond to consultation are in favour of a scheme. We do not seek to impose CPZs where residents don't want them.
What are the advantages of being in a CPZ?
If you have difficulty parking near your home because of commuter or shopper parking, a CPZ will normally resolve the problem.
Driveways and junctions will be yellow lined improving visibility and road safety.
People are very unlikely to park across your driveway (in a CPZ a yellow line is marked across all driveways).
Parking near local shops will be easier because there will be Pay and Display bays ensuring a more rapid turnover in the use of the space.
If fewer people are driving up and down the road looking for parking space there will be less traffic in your road, less pollution and tempers will be less frayed.
Planning and design
All of the early consultation in planning for controlled parking zones is informal, and is geared to developing detailed proposals, which match the needs of the local community as closely as possible.
After a statutory consultation with the Emergency Services, transport providers and others, we draw up a traffic management order, which will give the controls their effect. We advertise this in the local press.
Once the traffic management order has been made, we can begin marking out the bays and the yellow line restrictions. We give residents notice of when this lining work is to be carried out, as it's usually necessary for drivers to remove their cars while the lines are painted.
Once lining and signing work is nearly complete we give notice to all households of the date of the start of enforcement. We aim to give residents around two weeks' notice to allow residents enough time to buy permits.
The first priority in any CPZ is safety and for that reason all junctions are double yellow lined. We use double or sometimes single yellow lines to protect three metres width of carriageway space for emergency and essential service vehicle access, and to protect driveways and manoeuvring space.
Residents are given first priority in the use of the remaining space.
Normally there is some extra space which we use for pay-and-display bays for customers of local business. Where possible we will also allocate some business bays. Some bays will be dual- or triple-use.
Unfortunately, in some streets there is not enough space for all the residents' needs. Even in a CPZ we cannot guarantee availability of parking space in your street.
We aim to review every CPZ within the first 18 months of operation, once residents have had time to see how the restrictions operate in practice.
All zones are reviewed again every 10 years or so to see if the restrictions are still appropriate. As part of this review we carry out another consultation. Residents and businesses are also welcome to write in to us at any time, outlining any difficulties they are having.
It is sometimes necessary to carry out further consultation on specific changes that may affect small groups of residents to ensure that, where possible, the wishes of the majority are implemented.
Local consultation issues
At the heart of the design process is local consultation. We consult local residents living within and around the area of any proposed zone.
Before any proposals are drawn up, we seek the views of residents on the issue of having a zone at all. If it is clear that we have the broad support of residents, we will draw up a draft design.
We will then hold a public exhibition to show residents and local businesses the design and invite their comment on it. Local people know their area best and will usually be able to offer constructive suggestions.
We then amend the plans to take account of residents' comments. The proposals are then put forward for statutory consultation with the Emergency Services and other representative groups.
If we do not have the broad support of residents we will not normally proceed with the development of a zone. However when we do have majority support it does not mean that we can satisfy every individual's requirements.
A commonly-raised issue is over the impact of lots of signage. We are very conscious of the visual impact on an area of extra traffic signs. Signs in a zone are kept to a minimum and are displayed as unobtrusively as possible without becoming invisible to the motorist.
The whole process from the first plans and consultation to having a zone in on the ground can take up to 18 months. This may sound like a long time but we feel it is better to develop our plans in partnership with the local community, and have the detail more or less right by the time the zone is implemented.