Draft minutes of the meeting of the Environment & Sustainability Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 17 July re the extension of the St Margarets Controlled Parking Zone [CPZ]:

‘Cllr Hodgins informed the Committee that a large number of residents were aggrieved by the consultation process and the outcome which did not appear to give sufficient weight to the views expressed. Cllr Head raised a number of concerns and expressed the view that the second consultation was undemocratic and should be ignored.

The Committee heard representations from 11 residents; most speakers opposed the extension to the St Margarets South CPZ for a variety of reasons:

  • The majority of those surveyed had not wanted a CPZ in their road and had not been given an opportunity to say if they wanted a CPZ in the area.
  • Alternative options were not considered. Information, including the parking survey was withheld from residents. There were discrepancies in the data used leading to some properties being omitted from the consultation.
  • The consultation document had not mentioned the proposed introduction of double yellow lines which would further reduce the number of available parking spaces. At 6 m, the stretches of double yellow lines were considerably longer than was necessary.
  • The CPZ did not address the problem of residents being unable to park near their homes at night. Whilst the area consulted was viable for a CPZ, the inclusion of two streets was not sustainable. The inclusion of Bridge and Winchester Roads in the CPZ would exacerbate the parking problems in neighbouring streets; this would inevitably lead to the extension of the CPZ to other streets in the area.
  • The decision should be made on an experimental basis. The formal advertisement of the proposals was premature and suggested that the decision had already been made.

A resident of Sidney Road expressed the view that the road should not have been excluded from the CPZ as a majority of residents, albeit marginal, voted in favour of the CPZ. A resident of Winchester Road spoke in support of the proposals and expressed the view that the decision as to whether a particular road should have a CPZ should be made by its residents and not by others who did not wish to be in the scheme themselves.

Cllr Morgan addressed the Committee as a Ward Cllr; he outlined the history of the consultation following requests from residents for a CPZ in 2006. The Ward Cllrs had not expressed a preference for or against the CPZ but his personal opinion was that the discrepancies in data had not significantly affected the outcome of the consultation.

The Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking, Cllr Trigg and officers responded to the issues raised. Cllr Trigg stated that, following representations from St Margarets residents about parking problems, it had been necessary to consult over a wider area to establish the extent of the problem; the consultation process had adhered to the Council’s policy; although there were some errors in data these had been largely addressed in the second consultation and officers were satisfied that the outcome of the consultation had not been affected.

Cllr Trigg believed that the inclusion of Bridge Road and Winchester Road in the St Margarets South CPZ was viable; however, if the results of the review after six months of operation revealed that residents of the two roads no longer wished to remain in the CPZ then these roads would be removed. With regard to the double yellow lines, Cllr Trigg reported that that these should be the minimum length compatible with safety requirements; he confirmed that the extent of the yellow lines would be included in the review. With regard to Sidney Road, Cllr Trigg stated that whether or not to include it in the CPZ extension was a marginal decision; however he was prepared to consider an early review of the decision not to include it in the CPZ. It was also agreed that the in future, CPZ consultation documents used in the review would include maps which detailed the yellow lines and parking layout proposals.

Following further discussion, Committee members considered that errors in the previous consultation had been overcome by the latest returns, and that clear support had been shown in the two roads selected for inclusion in the adjacent St Margarets South CPZ. Members also supported investigation of proposals made by residents to include echelon parking in Hillview Road to alleviate evening parking problems. The proposal to refer the decision back to the Cabinet Member for further consideration was put to the vote and lost.

The Committee resolved:

  1. That the decision made by the Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking be noted.
  2. That the Cabinet Member for Traffic, Transport and Parking be requested to select include the whole second stage consultation area for the review of the new CPZ extension together with any other adjacent roads where particular issues have emerged.
  3. That the proposed further consultation for The Mews and the service road off Bridge Road be noted and agreed.
  4. That consideration be given to an early review of Sidney Road.
  5. That provision of additional parking spaces on Hillview Road be investigated.’

The final minutes will be agreed at the Committee’s next meeting on September 11.

– from Chris Squire