Sunday, 28 September 2014

Barnet Launch Consultation on New Parking Policy

Now Barnet want to hear from you

Barnet Council has launched a consultation on a new draft parking policy. You can access the policy document and take part in the consultation using this link: consultation survey


Unbelievably, the policy document is over 70 pages long. It is full of unobjectionable (and rather vague) aspirations about keeping the traffic flowing, the roads safe and parking convenient but the consultation is still an opportunity for you to make it clear what your priorities are. 

On the subject of CPZ parking, the Council highlight that resident should on the whole be able to park near their homes. And they accept that charges cannot be set in order to raise revenue, which is the opposite of what they argued in the Court Case.


The ongoing saga of the legal costs

Even though it is over a year since the Court gave judgment in our favour, the costs of the court case have still not be sorted out. It now looks as though there will have to a further hearing just so the question of how much Barnet must pay towards the legal costs is resolved. That hearing will be in December.
All this means that we still do not know if we will be in a position to return the larger donations that we received, at least in part. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

CPZ Charges: no increases planned

One of the questions we were asked back when we launched our legal action was whether, even if won, the Council may simply try again to increase CPZ parking charges for residents.

It seems for the moment at least that neither the current administration nor the Lib Dem or Labour oppositions plan any increases (perhaps they have one eye on the upcoming elections?). The Council has recently published their proposed fees and charges for next year and the good news therefore is that no increases for CPZ residents are planned. You can see details of all of the the proposals and also respond to the consultation here:

http://engage.barnet.gov.uk/environment-and-operations/street-scenes-fees-charges-2014-15/consult_view 

Despite charges being frozen or being subject only to modest increases, there are still a few ugly remnants of the old discredited parking regime:


  • As if moving house wasn't expensive enough, you have to factor in the cost of a parking suspension. Barnet charge a £63.50 flat charge PLUS £63 each day  - so a minimum of £126.50. If you have a removal van, you will need 2 or 3 parking spaces to be suspended, so you're looking at around £300 or £400. Don't even think of needing a skip outside your home for a couple of weeks!
  • Any change to a parking permit or requesting a refund costs £21.  So there's no point cancelling a permit which has 6 months or less to run as it will cost you more than the refund you are entitled to.
  • A 3 month temporary permit (useful perhaps if your child is home from college for the summer) costs a truly ridiculous £252.
Whilst we have won the war over the cost of residents' permits and visitor vouchers, these hangovers from the old charging regime are still hugely unfair.  If you agree, please let Barnet know by responding to the consultation by 20 March.  
 
 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Barnet Council (finally) invites you to have your say - 9 December

In what appears to be a genuine attempt to understand the concerns of Barnet residents, the Council has appointed a research company to hold some focus groups with residents to discuss parking issues in the borough (High Street and other parking as well as residents parking). 

They are specifically looking for a number of our supporters to attend a group on Monday 9 December in Whetsone from 4.30pm  to 6pm.  The group will comprise 8 residents so there should be plenty of opportunity to put your views across.

If you are interested in taking part, please email us at barnetcpz@gmail.com. We will pass your details on to the research company (Alpha Research) who will then be in touch direct.

If you are interested in participating but can't make the session on 9 December, please also contact us as other sessions may become available.

Other news:

We are still waiting for the payment of our legal costs by Barnet Council to be finalised so that we can begin the process of repaying what we can to supporters who made donations of £20 or more. There is progress on this front but realistically the issue may not be resolved until the new year because Barnet are (understandably) subjecting the legal fees we incurred to a good deal of scrutiny.