It was made clear to us at the local elections that a main issue for St Margarets was the quantity of vehicles and the difficulty of parking them in some roads, especially at night. Though it seemed unlikely that residents wanted parking controls after working hours, a controlled parking zone [CPZ] could ease the position during the day for some residents in some roads by excluding commuter parking. Richmond uses a two-stage consultation process to decide whether or not to implement a CPZ ( See this article ). Stage 1, which finds out who are these residents and which are the roads, was done in May/June; the results were published at on this site here and here, on the Council’s site .

The next task is to determine how roads wishing to opt in can be clustered into workable zones. This is Stage 2 of the consultative process; it is in two parts:

  1. traffic engineers, helped by a local representative working party, drawn at random from residents of all the roads [both opting in and out of the proposed zone], draw up proposals; a consultation document and questionnaire are sent to residents and businesses, who have 21 days to respond.
  2. after the results have been analysed and discussed with ward councillors and the Transport Consultative Group, the the Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking either approves or decides against the statutory consultation (formal advertisement); if this goes ahead, there is a further round of consultation on a formal plan. Then the Cabinet Member makes a final decision which is implemented.

Some roads, which voted to opt out in Stage 1, have been included in Stage 2; this enables them to confirm or change their vote. It also allows for a change of mind in future years [unlikely as this seems now]: the appropriate Traffic Order [‘a legal document made by a local authority, under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, that enables the local authority to introduce parking restrictions, speed limits, one-way streets, . . . ‘ see this article ] would be in place. If this were not so, these roads would have to go back to the beginning of the process and lose priority. This is NOT some means of coercing residents to join a scheme against their wishes; experience in other parts of the borough has shown that some residents do change their minds after a scheme has been operating for a while and welcome this opportunity.

A diagram setting out the stages is available here; we are at the beginning of Stage 2. The CPZ is reviewed after 6 months; residents of all the roads, including those from opted out roads, have a further opportunity to make their views known before the scheme is finally confirmed. It remains your councillors’ view that there is no intention to impose a CPZ on any road where there is a majority against it.

Councillor Philip Morgan