Consultation begins for on-street parking changes

The Parking Service will be undertaking an extensive consultation with Brent’s residents, schools, traders and businesses about proposed changes to parking charges and the management of on-street parking in Controlled Parking Zones.

car parkThe consultation will be open for 4 weeks, commencing 13th April to 10th May 2016.

There are 40 CPZs in the borough, with 33,000 on-street parking places serving 56,000 households. Currently all households are eligible for up to three parking permits for their own vehicles and unlimited visitor permits. With such pressure on demand, the transportation team are working with residents and businesses to shape a new approach to manage demand for parking spaces and encourage people to use more sustainable transport wherever possible.

The primary aim is to manage high levels of demand for parking spaces, whilst improving road safety, reducing air pollution and carbon emissions, and supporting local businesses. A key aim is to help residents to park near to their homes.

The items that are being consulted on are;

  • freezing charges in pay and display bays across the borough
  • a new scheme of charges for visitor parking in Controlled Parking Zones
  • a proposal to cap the availability of visitor permits
  • withdrawing the Visitor Household Permit offer
  • introducing a new permit for residents who need care and support
  • revising schools’ permits to encourage staff to minimise their parking impact and encourage better school travel planning
  • a proposal to limit residents’ permits to a maximum of two per household
  • simplifying the emissions-based charging scheme for residents’ permits, with increased charges for cars that create more air pollution
  • introducing a new trader permit which could help local businesses such as plumbers, electricians and other building trades
  • introducing a £25 supplement for diesel vehicles to reflect their recognised impact on air pollution
  • introducing a minimum permit charge of £25 for all vehicle types
  • reducing the permitted size of vehicles eligible for resident permits by introducing a weight limit of 3.5 tonnes.

Alongside the consultation there will be a number of workshops and meeting with residents, schools and businesses to hear their views.

There are no proposals on the boundaries and times of operation for our CPZs, but there is a commitment to do so in the near future.

You can access the consultation via the following LINK

Free weekend parking in Council operated car parks in the lead up to Christmas

Shoppers in Brent will be able to park for free on the weekends leading up to Christmas in 11 car parks across Brent, the council has confirmed.

Starting this ‘Small Business Saturday,’ December 5, car parks on Elm Road, Kingsbury Road, Lonsdale Avenue, Neasden Town Centre, St Johns Road, Preston Road, Salusbury Road, and Wendover Road will be open to motorists to park for free on the weekends of the 12-13 and 19-20 December.

Car parks at Barham Park, Northwick Park and Disraeli Road are also included in the scheme, which is intended to make it easier for residents to support local businesses and shop locally in the build up to Christmas.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for parking, said:

“Small businesses are the life blood of the local economy, providing jobs and services and adding to the unique diversity of Brent, so we are keen to support our local businesses in whatever way we can.

“I hope that providing free parking across eleven sites in the borough at one of the busiest times of the year for businesses will help those who do shop locally to stay loyal, and for those who tend to drive out of the borough to shop, to encourage them to see what local high streets in the borough have to offer.”

Signs will be put up in participating car parks this week promoting the scheme and pay and display machines in those car parks will be covered on the Friday evening before each weekend, to prevent shoppers from accidentally paying for their parking.

It must be pretty tough being ‘in’ a wheelchair

I came across this Department for Work and Pensions guidance manual with good practice on how local authorities should manage Discretionary Housing Payments.…  as you do.

I was intrigued by the example case study given in the document  on page 26 (FULL DOCUMENT LINK). It says “Mrs Thom is in a wheelchair”, at which point I thought, that must be pretty tough being all tangled up and stuck inside a wheelchair.

DHP 2013 guidance page 26

Of course that’s not what the DWP meant, but disabled people and disabled people’s organisations have for long looked to discourage terms like living in a wheelchair. People are human beings first and Mrs Thom is someone who uses a wheelchair, so being described as a wheelchair user is far more appropriate than someone in a wheelchair.

The point I’m trying to make is that using the right language is important. It frames what your thoughts are about the people you are talking about. You can end up losing people.

The recent example I have is when we had a deputation from a local business owner on the reduced parking charges that Brent Labour introduced last month. The owner argued for a free parking period for up to 45 minutes and “handicapped” people would struggle with cashless parking. At which point he had lost me and I thought to myself that this person obviously has no regard for disabled people if he’s going around at public meetings describing them as “handicapped” – a phrase that disability organisations have long looked to stop the use of and is considered offensive to disabled people.

Similarly, people are no longer described as being ‘in wheelchairs’ or ‘confined to wheelchairs’ and ‘wheelchair user’ is more appropriate.

It’s sad that this example was found in a Government Department for Work and Pensions document and they should really know better.

Parking charges proposed to be reduced in Council operated car parks

At the Brent Council meeting of the Executive tonight, one of the items on the agenda is parking charges in Brent.

Labour Councillors will be supporting a linear charging model as follows:

2013 parking tariffsIn addition there will be a separate tariff, which will introduce a charge of 20p parking to park for 15 minutes.

The full report can be found here – LINK

Parking restrictions in the Wembley Stadium Event Day Zone today

England play France at Wembley Stadium on 17 November 2010. The game starts at 8pm.

About the parking scheme:
Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme Restrictions will apply throughout the Wembley Stadium Event Day Zone from 8am until midnight on main routes, and 10am until midnight in residential areas within the 1.5 mile radius of Wembley Stadium on 17 November 2010. Anyone who is parked illegally within the event day zone will be issued with a parking ticket and may have their vehicle towed away.

Residents, their visitors and businesses within this zone that have special event day permits will be able to park in these roads and are advised to display their permits on 17 November 2010.

Wembley Stadium Event Day Parking Restrictions apply: Sunday 6th June

Wembley Stadium Protective Parking Scheme Restrictions will apply throughout the Wembley Stadium Event Day Zone from 8am until midnight on main routes, and 10am until midnight in residential areas within the 1.5 mile radius of Wembley Stadium on 6 June 2010.

Anyone who is parked illegally within the event day zone will be issued with a parking ticket and may have their vehicle towed away.

Residents, their visitors and businesses within this zone that have special event day permits will be able to park in these roads and are advised to display their permits on 6 June 2010. The ‘event today’ signs throughout the zone will be flipped from the afternoon of 5 June to ensure all signs are flipped in time for the event.

Source: Brent Council

Residents already begin to benefit from a Labour controlled Brent Council: Fairer Parking Charges

Off-street parking charges reduced

Charges for parking off-street near Preston Road have been reduced to support local shopping in the area.

The aim of reducing the charges is to encourage more use of a 167 space car park, known locally as Tenterden car park, and accessed via Preston Road.

The car park, which has CCTV security and good lighting, now charges from 20p for half an hour to a very reasonable £2.80 for the day.

As on street parking in the area has previously caused problems for residents and local businesses alike, the new charging regime aims to encourage those parking on-street to do so for shorter periods of time. This should in turn stimulate local business by increasing the turnover of available parking spaces, and thereby increasing passing trade for the local shops.

Source: Brent Council

Lib Dem / Tory Council ripping off residents with parking charges

Brent Council rakes in a staggering £5,520,000 in surplus cash from its parking department but still insists the service is there to protect motorists.

The Council’s targeting of motorists to help fund their inactivity is atrocious. They shamefully refunded thousands of pounds after pressure from the Willesden and Brent Times after they sent out traffic wardens on Boxing Day last year despite saying four days earlier that it would be free.

So what is Brent’s parking policy actually about? Is it about parking enforcement, or all about raking in more money to fill the hole in the council’s finances?

With all the money being raised through motorists in Brent, why is the revenue being raised clearly not being used as efficiently as it can be to maintain our roads? On Wembley Stadium event days, traffic wardens can be seen ready to pounce on cars that have been parked within the stadium event parking permit zone.

Parking permits bring in £2,448,722 for the council while PCN removals account for £1,020,000 of annual income.

Looking at the see the level of surplus, the question has been raised by residents on whether the parking tickets are really issued to move traffic safely or are just a mere revenue raising exercise.

Extension to Controlled Parking Zone in Neasden

Brent Council has proposed an extension zone to the current parking zones in the Dudden Hill Ward stretching towards the Neasden area.

Current restrictions only apply on Wembley Stadium event days. The new proposals would see them applied during working hours, Monday to Friday. Residents will however now have to pay for their permits as well as for visitor permits, where previously, Stadium event day permits were free for main cars.

The consultation period runs is still open for people to respond to and will be ongoing until 9th October. Further details can be found on the following link: CONSULTATION