Thursday, 13 March 2014

A heated meeting on the problem of commuter parking

About 90 people attended the meeting I arranged last night to discuss the problems caused by commuter parking in my division of Truro, Trehaverne.   Cllr Bert Biscoe, Cabinet Member for Highways and Peter Tatlow from the Council's Highway Department attended to listen to residents' concerns.

Cllr Biscoe spoke of his wish that that there should be a bargain between residents and commuters of mutual respect and tolerance in relation to this issue for the benefit of the vibrancy of Truro.  Sadly, I fear that this bargain has irretrievably broken down.

The only way to make the quality of life bearable for many local residents would be to introduce one or more residents only parking schemes.  However, this could only be done with the support of local residents.

Residents described the siege conditions in which they lived.  Many came out of their houses in the morning to find commuters with their engines running waiting for them to vacate their parking space.  Some commuters arrived super early to secure a good spot, ate their cornflakes in their car and then dumped the remains at the kerb.  Another resident spoke about a commuter knocking on his door to get him to move along in order to create enough space for the commuter and offered the advice that the resident ought to tarmac his front garden.  A disabled resident spoke about having to park so far from her house that she needed to get a taxi back to it.  The only way that she could secure a place at her home was to pay £3000 for a blue badge holder's bay but that space could be occupied by any blue badge holder.

People spoke of their wish that the Council look at the problem in Truro as a whole.  They pointed out that the schemes recently introduced by Cllr Nolan in the Crescent and Redannick areas had merely slewed the problem onto the area around Trehaverne and Hendra on one side and Park View and Hurland Road area on the other.

I have consulted widely about this issue in most of my division and my impression is that it would be a big ask to look at the whole of Truro.

Residents generally do not want to have parking on their roads regulated (and paid for) unless they have a severe problem themselves.   For example , I understand that Redannick residents originally turned down a residents' parking scheme until their own situation was worsened by the installation of the scheme in the Crescent.

There is also an understandable fear that, although many residents accept that a permit costing £25 is not too bad, there is a risk that in future the price of permits may rise significantly.

The other issue we face is that local councillors have not been given a local members' budget for highway works in their division.  The only way to get money for such a parking scheme is to put in a bid to the Highways Department for money and that bid is then evaluated against certain criteria:
Tackling climate change
Supporting economic prosperity
Respecting and enhancing the environment
Encouraging healthy active lifestyles
Supporting community safety and the individual
Supporting equality of opportunity
It is to be hoped that where local residents do support a residents' parking scheme, despite the unwelcome cost and regulation, such a bid would be looked at favourably.  Or, other money should be found.  The fact is that schemes have been installed in areas of Truro that have made the problem much worse elsewhere.  This has created an unfairness that people find extremely hard to accept. In this connection it is helpful that the Cabinet Member for Finance has publicly indicated that the new administration is going to get a grip on this problem.

For myself, I will put together the evidence to see whether a scheme would be supported in the areas listed below.

I have been advised that it is not cost effective or sensible to do single roads or parts of roads. Although this makes support more difficult to obtain, I hope that residents will accept that this is a  sensible approach as otherwise we are just pushing traffic from road to road.

Possible schenes that have been identified are:
1. Trehaverne Terrace,  Higher Trehaverne, Cornwall Terrace, Rosedale Road and roads adjoining Rosedale Road
2.  Hendra to the right of Hendra. Road going up hill.
3. Hendra to the left of Hendra Road going up the hill.

I will do my utmost to secure the funds where I can demonstrate the support.

It may be that more needs to be done to help workers on low pay who commute into Truro. However there are schemes available through the Council and Totally Truro where season tickets can be obtained for car parks at not much more than £1 per day. Consultations should be undertaken with people working in Truro to see if more can and should be done.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for chairing such a difficult meeting. Redannick rejected a scheme and never accepted one as there was no re consultation except for canvassing by Cllr Nolan that did not cover all streets or homes.