Last Saturday was Dulwich Community Council. This is a council meeting open to all residents of Goose Green, Dulwich Hill, Dulwich Village and Dulwich Wood wards. On this occasion the main item on the agenda was the proposed controlled parking zones (CPZs) in East Dulwich and Peckham West.
It is fair to say that the council did not adequately prepare for the number of people who wanted to attend. The room was not big enough and there were insufficient chairs. It was clear that the vast majority of the attendees were there to discuss the CPZs, and not the other items on the agenda. Consequently, the Community Council Chair, Cllr Andy Simmons, took the decision to remove all other items from the agenda and to run the discussion about the CPZs twice back-to-back. This meant that as many people as possible were able to discuss this important issue. The first session started immediately and the second started shortly after the discussion had been originally scheduled to take place on the agenda.
We first heard from the council’s Acting Head of Highways, who provided an overview of what had happened so far and where the process will go next. He also answered some factual questions. Then there was a discussion from the floor, opened up with pre-agreed speeches from each side of the debate: the traders were represented, as were the pro-CPZ residents living near the station.
At the end of the discussion it was to the councillors to agree a recommendation from the Community Council to Cllr Richard Livingstone, who will ultimately make the final decision.
I made a number of proposals, which were then followed up by my fellow Goose Green Labour Councillor, Cllr Charlie Smith. All of these were agreed. I am going to first briefly summarise the process to-date, the outline the recommendations agreed by Dulwich Community Council, and finally explain the next steps of the process.
How we got here
Here’s a brief timeline
- Before I was elected last year and when I was a Labour candidate, I was frequently asked about controlled parking. Whether the person questioning me was for or against I always said the same thing: a CPZ should only be implemented if local residents want it.
- Over the summer discussion about a potential consultation began on here. I made it clear in September that the CPZ consultation was not all-or-nothing and that if it were supported in one section of the area but not in others then it could be implemented in just that section.
- This winter the consultation launched, and the key question asked residents if they want a CPZ on their road
. It was not an all-or-nothing referendum on whether to implement a CPZ across the whole area, it was a consultation to identify whether or not there are streets which want one.
- In January I pledged on here, and with the support of the leader of the Council, Cllr Peter John, that there were three potential outcomes: full implementation across the consultation area, full rejection across the consultation area, or partial implementation in just a subsection of the consultation area where there is majority support.
- In April the interim reports of the consultations were released, each with a recommendation from officers for how to proceed.
Recommendation 1: Shrinking Area of the East Dulwich CPZ
The officer-proposed ‘Melbourne Grove area’ is consistent with my pledge above: there is a majority in this area for a CPZ. But when I looked at the map of responses it was clear to me that the support came from two sections: the area around the station and the area around the new health centre. At the south east of this area there are four roads which all intersect with Lordship Lane, and which taken together had a majority against the CPZ. These are Ashbourne, Chesterfield, Bassano and Blackwater.
From my experience of talking to people on Melbourne Grove I strongly suspected that there would be a stark difference in opinion between those at the northern end near the station and those at the southern end near Lordship Lane. When I asked for this data to be segmented into North and South, my views were confirmed and it turned out that there was a strong majority for a CPZ in the part of Melbourne Grove north of East Dulwich Grove, and a strong majority against in the part to the south.
Not only do these 4 and a half streets have a majority against a CPZ, they are also the streets which are most likely to be used by visitors to Lordship Lane (the streets coming off the other side of Lordship Lane were not even included in the officers’ proposal).
So given the lack of support for a CPZ on these roads, and the concerns raised by local traders, I proposed that Ashbourne,Chesterfield, Bassano, Blackwater and the southern section of Melbourne Grove be removed from the CPZ. Given that the CPZ would no longer cover much of Melbourne Grove I further suggested that the CPZ be renamed ‘East Dulwich Grove CPZ’
Bearing in mind that residents were asked whether they want a CPZ on their road, this proposal would mean that 75% of respondents will live under the outcome they want
and 19% live will under the outcome they do not. It will also mean that the main streets used for parking
Recommendation 2: Shrinking Area of Peckham West CPZ
The principles above, if applied to Peckham West, led me to think that Ondine Road and East Dulwich Road should be excluded from the CPZ. They are on the edge fo the proposed area, together they have a majority against the CPZ, and they are near enough to Lordship Lane to be used by shoppers.
I have to say, I have received many fewer people contact me about this than did regarding the East Dulwich boundaries, so I suspect that it is not an issue which concerns people as much. Nonetheless, I thought it was important to apply the same principles consistently.
Recommendation 3: Peckham West times of operation
The officer proposal was for Peckham West to have an all day CPZ. As identified above by tmcoleman
, the statistical justification for this is questionable.
The breakdown of responses is as follows:
- All day: 34%
- 12-2pm: 29%
- Part of the day: 13%
- Other: 17%
- Did not answer: 7%
The officer recommendation is that given that All Day is the most popular option, this should be proposed. However, I agree with tmcoleman
that the people who responded either Part Day or 12-2 (42% altogether) would prefer some form of Part Day CPZ to an All Day CPZ. So, given this, I proposed that Dulwich Community Council recommend that the Peckham West CPZ is only from 12-2pm.
The remaining recommendations came from Cllr Charlie Smith. They are quite specific and detail-focused but I think that they will make a big difference when it comes to implementing a CPZ. They are in response to a number of concerns raised with all of us:
- Request that officers minimise the lengths of double yellow lines across dropped kerbs and elsewhere in the design of the CPZ
- Request that officers review the cost of monthly permits and annual permits such that residents are not penalised for paying monthly
- Request that officers review the Whateley Road green screen to ensure that it does not impact on visibility at this critical junction
- Request that officers present a follow up monitoring report to Dulwich Community Council if the CPZs are implemented
Process from here
The above recommendations - from both Cllr Charlie Smith and me - were all approved unanimously.
However, Dulwich Community Council does not make the final decision on this issue. We have sent our recommendations onto Cllr Richard Livingstone who will make the final decision in the coming weeks. If he decides to implement one or more CPZs then that will lead to a further round of traffic management consultations. This is where the details of things like double yellow lines are worked out street by street. There will also be further opportunity to shape some of the specific details of the proposal.
As always, I am happy to answer any questions.
James McAsh - Labour Councillor for Goose Green ward
Surgeries: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7pm, East Dulwich Community Centre on Darrell Road