This report provides an overview of parking enforcement in the Borough.
Osagie Ezekiel (Deputy Head of Parking) gave a presentation and provided an overview of parking within the borough and noted the following points:
The Chair noted that the Council had received two deputations from the same group of residents. She outlined the procedure for the deputations and explained that they would be addressed separately, allowing a gap between the two for questions.
Deputation 1 – PCN moving traffic yellow box junction at Bagley’s Lane
James Spokoini, Resident, addressed the Committee on behalf of the deputation and the following points were noted:
A heat map was then circulated to Committee members which highlighted areas in the borough where residents were not in favour of the closure. Mr Spokoini felt that the lack of consultation with residents had a detrimental effect on residents. Feedback received from residents had suggested that the road closure had not improved traffic or reduced congestion. However, it had led to an increase in PCN’s issued as a result of stand-still traffic in the yellow box junction at Bagley’s Lane. He explained that the consultation only addressed residents on the road and felt that a wider consultation was necessary.
Questions from the Committee
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler asked how the closure of Harwood Terrace had affected the day to day lives of local residents. In response James Spokoini explained that he had received a high volume of emails from local residents expressing their concerns around this matter on a daily basis. He referred to a resident who recently had a stem cell transplant, noting that since the closure her symptoms had deteriorated due to the rise of pollution in her area. In addition, he felt that a better approach could be achieved by re-opening the road whilst a detailed consultation to find a suitable solution with all residents was delivered.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler noted her concerns around the road closure. She felt the closure was ‘extraordinary’, given such limited consultation with local residents had taken place and as a result had shifted traffic congestion into the Sands End area.
Councillor Ann Rosenberg explained that according to feedback received from residents the gridlock caused by the road closure took place during peak hours. However, outside of these hours the traffic was shown to be fairly light and steady. She felt that this was a wider challenge that needed to be addressed across London.
James Spokoini noted that a petition relating to the closure of Harwood Terrace was submitted in January 2020 and questioned why it had been pushed back to the March meeting of Cabinet. He raised concerns around the Council failing to respond to the needs of local residents.
The Chair explained that an Extraordinary meeting would be held on 10 February at 7pm to provide residents an opportunity to raise their concerns in further detail. This also allowed officers the time to address specific concerns raised at this meeting. Additionally, details of the Extraordinary meeting would be made available on the Council’s website.
Deputation 2 – Resident concerns relating to the closure of Harwood Terrace
James Spokoini addressed the Committee on behalf of the deputation and the following points were noted:
Questions from the Committee
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler said that James Spokoini had provided a very clear explanation on behalf of local residents. She felt that a wider consultation was necessary. She felt that the project was inadequate and had not thoroughly been planned through from the beginning.
James Spokoini said that a detailed copy of a traffic study relating to the closure of Harwood Terrace was sent to Councillor Wesley Harcourt (Cabinet Member for the Environment) to review, however the road still remained closed. In addition, he noted that residents suffered with daily noise and air pollution related issues as a result of the stationary traffic outside their homes. He questioned why the road was still closed given the detrimental impact this had on local residents.
Councillor Iain Cassidy enquired if there was a reasonable outcome that would be welcomed by the residents going forward. In response James Spokoini explained that residents felt that the Council had not listened to them. He suggested that Harwood Terrace be reopened to allow a wider consultation to take place. In addition, he noted that he was not impressed with the way that the Council had handled this situation to date and was keen to find an alternative outcome that considered the needs of all residents.
The Chair gave members of the public the opportunity to ask further questions in relation to parking matters in the borough.
Residents from Fulham Reach noted their concerns around match day parking, particularly in Zone T. They felt that free parking on Saturdays and Sundays enabled non-residents to park in Zone T during match days. However, this caused total gridlock in the area, creating disruption for local residents. In addition, residents felt that as a solution restricting parking for non-residents up to 2 hours before a match would be fitting for residents, businesses and schools. Furthermore, it was noted that a bus network operated down Fulham Road for anyone with mobility issues.
A resident explained that the 2-hour parking restriction prior to a match needed to be applied borough wide due to challenges faced around displacement. Bram Kainth (Chief Officer – Public Realm) explained that issues around displacement were part of a wider challenge faced by Councils across London. In the meantime, the Council would work with local residents to develop a scheme that would directly address the match day parking concerns in Zone T.
A parking stress survey had already been issued in the borough to help better understand resident concerns and demand to help build a picture to inform next steps in time for 2020/21.
Councillor Iain Cassidy enquired whether the Council had any leverage to work in collaboration with Fulham Football club to try and reduce the number of fans driving into the area on match days. Bram Kainth said that he would need to check to see what was agreed as part of the stadium expansion planning application and would explore this further.
The Chair asked if officers had met with Fulham Football Club to further discuss the parking pressures around the stadium. Bram Kainth said that a meeting had not been set up, however a travel plan (an action-based document) was issued during the development of planning arrangements to allow residents to engage.
A resident asked for further clarification to be provided around the protocol for changes made to parking restrictions to the zones within the borough. In response Masum Choudhury commented that it was common to receive parking requests from residents for the Council to make changes accordingly. He outlined the procedure and explained that a statutory process would be followed prior to implementing any changes.
Councillor Iain Cassidy commented that the Council fully supported the idea of co-production and was keen to work with residents on future proposals. He noted that It was important that all residents’ views were heard to find a suitable outcome going forward.
The Chair asked for clarification to be provided on timescales. In response Bram Kainth explained that a programme of CPZ parking reviews had been established. It was noted that the Council was keen to progress on this matter promptly in consultation with relevant Cabinet Members. The next steps would be to meet residents outside of the Committee to discuss the matter in further detail.
The Chair advised residents to stay in touch with Councillor Iain Cassidy to raise any further concerns relating to this matter.
A resident in support of the Harwood Terrace closure commented that this trial had been hugely successful. She raised concerns around unhealthy pollution levels and the high volume of cars that passed through on a daily basis. She said the situation had reached crisis point as there had been many minor, serious, and near fatal accidents on Harwood Terrace prior to the closure. Additionally, the traffic across the whole area had significantly reduced as a result of the closure.
Another resident in support of the Harwood Terrace closure felt that the reduction of journey times was not a justifiable reason to re-open the Terrace. He mirrored the concerns raised above and noted that re-opening the road would only cause increases in traffic related issues again. He felt that residential roads should not be used as a ‘pressure release’ and over time this would not be sustainable. In addition, he explained that the streets needed to be environmentally friendly for cyclists and residents and whole heartedly supported the closure of Harwood Terrace.
The Chair requested that officers prepared for the Extraordinary meeting and ensured that the report in relation to Harwood Terrace addressed the following key points:
· Outline the history of Harwood Terrace and how the issues arose.
· Outline the consultation and decision-making process for the Closure of Harwood Terrace.
· Provide proposals of how the consultation can be improved going forward and consider the deputation presented yesterday.
Councillor Iain Cassidy asked if newer vehicles with larger footprints (e.g. 4x4s) affected the number of parking spaces available in the borough. Had the Council been required to make different assumptions about the space required for each car? Bram Kainth said that although they may look larger in size, they usually did fit into the footprint of a standard parking space, and it hadn’t affected the amount of parking in the borough.
Councillor Iain Cassidy asked how the Council managed the growth of electric cars in the borough. Had the Council considered the location of the charging points, given the disruption this would cause to pedestrians and disabled people, if they continued to be placed on pavements? Officers explained that the Council would avoid placing charging points on pavements where it was deemed to be a potential hazard to pedestrians. Officers were familiar with the challenges relating to pavement mobility and these would be factored into future development plans. Where it was causing a high level of disruption, the Council would look at moving the charging points to carriage way spaces.
That the Committee noted and commented on the update.