Friday, 28 January 2011

Spare spaces or not?

I have been trying since 2004 to get dedicated permit parking for those living in Kings Road (East) from Parkway to Prospect Row. Originally it was hoped that bays could be created in that road, especially after it was made one-way. The wide pavement outside the recently modernised offices was also thought a possibility, but for various reasons (not my lack of will) nothing materialised.

Now that Zone H (also including Albert Crescent, Albert St, Victoria St) has extra spaces in Chalk Road, it seemed sensible to me to see how much they are used. I surveyed the area on four days in January from the 4th to the 10th and found on average 19 spaces empty. I therefore asked the residents of Kings Rd (East) whether any of them would be prepared to purchase a parking permit which they could use in Zone H. Seven said yes, and so I have asked the council if this can be arranged.
Unfortunately the law and bureaucracy dictate that widening the area of eligibility requires the same lengthy procedure as creating new bays. I am currently arguing for an experimental road traffic order, which is somewhat easier, and would really test whether there were sufficient spaces to add more permits without reducing spaces irrevocably.

Last week the Bury Free Press published a photo of me by some of the empty new spaces, which I thought might help to concentrate the minds of officers dealing with my request. This week two letters have been published claiming there are not enough spaces, one from a lady who says these spaces are "for family, friends and ourselves" and another from a man who says he is "lucky to find one" at 5.45 pm.

I certainly don't want to take away spaces that are already needed, but I do think existing permit holders should realise that these spaces are for as many residents as can be accommodated in them, not just their own friends and family. As the scheme runs from 9-5 weekdays and Saturdays it is hardly surprising that anyone is having difficulty at this time. Permit holders need to understand that permits do not guarantee a space, even within the period of operation, and they may not be useful for someone who is out at work during that time.

Today (Friday) at 12.30 I took the following photographs, which show the four areas of Chalk Rd permit parking, and indicate about 23 spare spaces. This is quite apart from the vacant bays in the other roads in the zone.
Isn't it reasonable to let the seven households in Kings Road (East) join the scheme if they are prepared to walk over Parkway from and to their cars, possibly further than Chalk Road?

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