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messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by MarkT April 01, 10:19AM

The consultation has been extended, to 6 weeks from today, so cannot be implemented yet.
I think that wherever parking charges are being introduced in Southwark, payment is by phone only so there will be no payment machines, but there will be signs giving instructions for payment.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by 5imon April 01, 11:05AM

All -
On Saturday I attended the meeting with Southwark Council, organised by the Friends of Belair Park.
Councillor Andy Simmons attended from Southwark. There were around 30-40 people in attendance.

I'm going to keep the following to 'the facts' of what I recall/noted from the meeting. Opinions expressed are not my own etc. If you also attended pls feel free to add to the below.
Note that although the meeting touched on the scheme as it would apply to all Southwark parks, there was a specific focus on Belair park, for obvious reasons.





INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

After an introduction by the Chair of Friends, Andy introduced himself and outlined the rationale for the parking charges. This was fairly obvious - Southwark council have a budget hole and are turning over every available stone to generate revenue. Andy acknowledged this is an emotive and controversial plan, and is aware of the many reasons that there will be objections.

He then specifically mentioned that objections to new council measures tend to get a lot more attention if there were alternative proposals suggested, so encouraged everyone to consider other revenue generating/cost saving initiatives. He cited other parks elsewhere in London that have turned to different solutions during these budget squeezes, eg those that chose to cut back on gardening, litter picking etc in order to avoid charging for parking.
He also said that there were additional benefits to the plan, including encouraging people to leave cars at home to promote the Cleaner Greener Air scheme.

The charging is yet to be decided; it is currently proposed at £2/hr with Blue Badge holders not paying.

POINTS FROM THE FLOOR

He then opened the floor to questions. There were many points raised; below in brief are the principle points I noted down. If you were there and recall more pls feel fre to add

- Belair Park is surrounded by 3 local schools and many nurseries who rely on the park car park as a drop off point for children. Without this there will be pressure on surrounding roads and back streets which are already congested and gridlocked. This brings into question the viability of claims of benefits to air quality and the environment. Congested back streets are more than likely to become CPZs as a result of this

- Many children play in and enjoy Belair Park after school as a result of parents using the car park as a pickup point. There is a real community here - children from all schools, backgrounds, and walks of life are currently using and enjoying the park together.

- Challenges were raised around exactly how much money this scheme would bring in; if there were less cars being driven to Belair Park then realistically the revenue generated would be fairly insignificant compared to the funding gap that Southwark find themselves in.

- There are few other modes of transport available. Belair Park is very poorly served by public transport links; the P13 along the South Circular is infrequent. Insufficient segregated cycle lanes in the area. Those with younger children going to nurseries etc don't have any other option.

- This scheme has been attempted before in 2013 and was knocked back. Andy Simmons' predecessor attended the meeting (did anyone catch her name/details?) and challenged the need to do this when Dulwich Ward were spending ££ on other schemes (eg £42k on love Dulwich lampost signs)

- There are many people who are not blue-badge holders but are challenged to get to the park on available public transport eg elderly, unwell

- This will hit those hardest who are unable to afford it - families without access to local green spaces who will now need to pay.

- Queries around the cost of policing/patrolling Belair car park. Andy said that there were no costs since APCOA currently provide this service free of charge, and are paid by the fines they levy. There were challenges to this statement that this was not the case, or may not be the case going fwd.

- More generally the argument that privatising our public spaces is not a road we want to go down as the principle of our green spaces should be that they free to all; we already pay for them through taxation. This is the 'thin end of the wedge' and is opens the door to freely increasing charges in the future in the event of financial mismanagement of the local authorities.

- Yet another hidden tax on motorists

- A challenge from someone late into the meeting which was interesting: there is case law of existing parks in North London that attempted this and were told that money raised in parks is available for spending only within the parks themselves. Does anyone know the lady that raised this or know more? This is an interesting point which I don't feel Andy had a response for

- If this scheme is going ahead anyway, a number of alternatives were proposed including a discounted 'annual pass' enabling those that need to continue to use the car park without the daily charge, and also amnesty periods eg 8-10am, 3-5pm


SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

The official consultation period begins today (1st Apr) and will last for 6 weeks. This is NOT a statutory consultation - ie the council is under no obligation to respond. The consultation will be available here [consultations.southwark.gov.uk] and everyone is encouraged to register their objections/proposals

I've just checked the site and the proposal is not yet on there, but will probably be put up this week.

The more people that respond to this, the more our voices will be heard so....

PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO RESPOND!

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by 5imon April 01, 11:18AM

Update -
The consultation is now online

[consultations.southwark.gov.uk]

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by mrwb April 01, 11:38AM

So when is the earliest these charges can now happen? Confused?

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by 5imon April 01, 11:42AM

Per the consultation online - "from June 2019"

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Metallic April 01, 12:25PM

The woman bringing up the issue of monies raised by events having to go back in to that park - a court of appeal ruling - was Mrs Patsy Bramble, Chair of the Dulwich Society licensing Committee.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Pugwash April 01, 07:59PM

Why do the council assume that everyone has a mobile phone!! I do not have one and find it extremely annoying parking where they do not take cash payments at the meter. I do not use the car routinely but picking up heavy goods, taking the cats to the vet (a good walk from bus stop with a heavy cat in basket.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by James Barber April 01, 09:41PM

Some ideas to save money - [moderngov.southwark.gov.uk]

Assumption everyone has mobile phones - Council officers and councillors are provided with iPhones hence their assumption everyone has a mobil phone.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by bels123 April 01, 09:51PM

'Belair Park is surrounded by 3 local schools and many nurseries who rely on the park car park as a drop off point for children. Without this there will be pressure on surrounding roads and back streets which are already congested and gridlocked. This brings into question the viability of claims of benefits to air quality and the environment. Congested back streets are more than likely to become CPZs as a result of this'

Whilst other schools and parents are campaigning for school streets to improve air quality and safety around schools, the ones around Belair are lobbying to keep their convenient car parking arrangements in the local public park.....seriously?!

These charges are needed for this exact thing, to encourage a shift away from the over-reliance on cars - of course there are always exceptions but if you can afford to run a car in London a £2 parking charge shouldn't be an issue. The poorest won't be affected the hardest - the poorer you are the less likely you are to drive.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was april 01, 10:00pm by bels123.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by 5imon April 02, 09:31AM

Hi Bels123, thanks for your message.
I think the point raised at the meeting was that if there were alternative - regular bus routes, safe cycle ways etc, then this would be the case. However for some people cycling/walking/scootering is simply not an option - those with nursery-aged children for eg.

Regarding the 'poorer you are the less likely you are to drive' this may well be the case - but given lack of alternatives this effectively puts this particular park a little further out of reach for lower income families, which is a shame.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Penguin68 April 02, 10:24AM

the poorer you are the less likely you are to drive.

A progressive society makes it easier for poor people to have good stuff, a regressive society makes it more difficult and fuels resentment between haves and have nots. And if cars aren't 'good stuff' - how come it's the wealthy with them and not the poor (except of course that many 'poor' people do have access to cars and vans, some for their work)?

Actually the younger (adult) you are the less likely you are to drive, particularly in London. The young find it easier to get about (they are fitter) and car insurance for the young can be prohibitive. For many young people owning a car is an expense to far. As long as they have a friend with a car who can drive them when necessary! When they start families is when they start to become car owners (often).

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Galileo April 02, 12:22PM

ďHowever for some people cycling/walking/scootering is simply not an option - those with nursery-aged children for eg.ď

I have three kids in nursery and school - we use the pram, scooters and bikes to get to nursery and school - the full drop off/pick-up routine takes us an hour twice a day. This keeps us fit as a family (too many kids to go to or afford a gym) except for the fact the air we breath whilst on our run is foul. We could drive instead, it would be much quicker, but we refuse to because itís not good for the world and we donít get exercise that way.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by redpost April 03, 08:46PM

These parking charges are great news for those of us who don't drive and have children.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Jacqui5254 April 03, 08:54PM

Why?

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by bels123 April 03, 09:29PM

5imon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hi Bels123, thanks for your message.
> I think the point raised at the meeting was that
> if there were alternative - regular bus routes,
> safe cycle ways etc, then this would be the case.
> However for some people cycling/walking/scootering
> is simply not an option - those with nursery-aged
> children for eg.
>
> Regarding the 'poorer you are the less likely you
> are to drive' this may well be the case - but
> given lack of alternatives this effectively puts
> this particular park a little further out of reach
> for lower income families, which is a shame.

Agree more could be done to improve alternatives although as Gallileo pointed out there are ways and means even with busy lifestyles and 3 small children if you are committed to active travel and minimising the impact your journey has on the air we all breath. Perhaps if those campaigning against these charges put their efforts into lobbying for improvements to encourage this their concern for those who Ďare unable to afford ití would seem less misplaced.

What are the 3 local schools being referred to? Dulwich Prep, Oakfield Prep and Dulwich College?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was april 03, 09:38pm by bels123.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by redpost April 07, 02:04PM

I'm just amazed that people drive to the park on a regular basis. We have so many different green spaces spread out and no-one is more than half a mile from a decent sized green space or park. This is SE london not lower manhattan, check out google maps at low zoom, there is green space literally everywhere.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Rockets April 08, 01:30PM

Yes I believe the schools are Oakfield and Dulwich Prep early years and the issue there is that the catchment areas are huge so many people drive and arenít able to walk as Galileo suggests. But as far as this council is concerned charging people who send their children to private school is to be encouraged! I love the fact that the council says they would entertain not charging for parking if people could suggest other revenue generating opportunities....they have to be careful as when we all see the wastage they are so famed for this approach may backfire....like the 42k on the Love Dulwich lampposts....

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by apbremer April 08, 02:06PM

Or the plethora of pointless and hugely expensive road "improvements" which often seem to be rejigged after a year, at even more cost. There seems to be a bottomless pit of our money for these.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Galileo April 08, 04:08PM

Rockets Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes I believe the schools are Oakfield and Dulwich
> Prep early years and the issue there is that the
> catchment areas are huge so many people drive and
> arenít able to walk as Galileo suggests. But as
> far as this council is concerned charging people
> who send their children to private school is to be
> encouraged! I love the fact that the council says
> they would entertain not charging for parking if
> people could suggest other revenue generating
> opportunities....they have to be careful as when
> we all see the wastage they are so famed for this
> approach may backfire....like the 42k on the Love
> Dulwich lampposts....

Are you arguing that a good reason for council car park not to impose parking charges is because it will put off parents from nearby private schools from driving their kids from far and wide and using the car parks for the local park in order to drop their kids at said schools?

There are lots of valid arguments as to why a park car park should not have charges, but I donít think that is one of the better ones!

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by bels123 April 08, 09:08PM

Interesting article - no such thing as free parking..ípeople who don't own cars pay for other peoples' parking. Every time you walk somewhere, or ride a bike, or take a bus, you're getting shafted

[www.vox.com]

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Rockets April 10, 07:51PM

Galileo,
No that is not what I am arguing. Re-read the feedback from the meeting that 5imon posted and I am sure you will see that is but one consideration and part of the broader opposition to the proposals. Whether you agree with private schools or not that community does use the Belair car park to safely drop their children at school and their voice needs to be heard and the fear with this council is that they will turn their noses up at anyone who they don't approve of - and we all know the Labour party's views on private schools. I understand that the councillor who attended was quite dismissive when these points were raised, seemingly letting their own prejudices cloud the discussion.

The displacement of parking from car parks like Belair to surrounding roads will not only create safety issues for the children being dropped off but also give the council more justification for CPZs in that area too.

I watched with interest the council meeting on the YouTube channel in relation to the CPZ and it is clear we are going to get CPZs borough-wide. The shills of the Vale Residents Association turned up and regurgitated the same TFL and council stated propaganda and got a rip-roaring round of applause, whilst the shopkeepers and the 10,000 people who support them in their quest to not have a CPZ got a muted response from the elected representatives. When Cllr Livingstone got up and said how things had improved greatly in his area since the implementation of the CPZ I think we all know which way things are going to go.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by redpost April 12, 11:12AM

Well the private schools need to adopt a no car dropoff policy unless they can provide adequate parking of their own (which they can't), but that would involve them biasing admissions to the locality. Quentin from clapham simply must be dropped off and picked up in the au pairs land rover darling.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by singalto April 12, 01:27PM

Redpost, I live near several state school including two primary school. I am horrified by how many parents drive their children to school, park anywhere that suits them. Itís not just a private school problem!

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Passiflora April 12, 11:05PM

According to the public notices in yesterdays Southwark News this is going ahead and is £2.00 payable using 'Pay by Phone' in Southwark Parks.

Lots more jargon but then says (c) to provide a solo motor cycle bay, in which solo motor cycles may be left without time limit or charge, in DULWICH PARK CAR PARK.

Seems strange as to why this would apply to just Dulwich Park or why they would be allowed to park there free at any time anyway.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by Rockets April 13, 11:31AM

Repost, ha ha...nothing like a debate on private schools to bring out the prejudice in people...winking smiley

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by AylwardS April 14, 11:04AM

As previously said the official Traffic Management Consultation is out. It runs for a shorter period than the consultation the Council is / has been running since the beginning of April and when I went in today it looks different to what I recall seeing last time I looked - the questions look the same
The consultation - Parking Control Measures for carparks in parks can e found at [consultations.southwark.gov.uk]
The Council consultation runs 1 April to 13 May, the formal TMO consultation runs 11 April to 6 May.
The TMO - Parks Parking (notice dated 11 April 2019) can be found in traffic-management-orders and the charge will be £2 per hour at all times with free parking for disabled badge holders and solo motorcycles (in the specific bay).

I donít choose to drive to the park so will not be directly affected but understand there may be circumstances that mean driving is required. Its not going to be possible to introduce charging and keep free parking for general access - well I canít think of a solution that wonít cost lots. It have made a suggestion for how it should be possible for activities the parks (i.e. Parkrun or activities at the Francis Peek Centre) The Council also has pages on Health and Wellbeing so I played a few of their points back to them. If the charges will affect you do respond to the consultation and if you have suggestions or examples of particular groups who will be negatively affected include that in your response. The Council may be able to do something but hadnít realised the introduction of charges would cause the issue.

I know there will be those that say its just moneymaking, and that is probably a big part of it, but I donít drive to the park soI donít know the likely implications of the introduction of charging and the people putting together the proposals will only have their own experience to go on. Can any of us say we understand what every park user needs?

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by AylwardS April 14, 11:14AM

I knew Iíd seen something about consulting with regular park users. I found this in the decision back in February which gave the go ahead.

The consultation will include the following:

-† Engagement with specific user groups to gain an understanding of impact of proposed measures on those with disability and on regular users i.e. dog walkers to ensure these users have an opportunity to engage and provide their views.†

The decision by Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Equalities and Communities 15/03/2019 [moderngov.southwark.gov.uk] should someone want to refer back to it.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by MarkT April 14, 12:58PM

So they are going to consult "regular users i.e. dog walkers"

Is that really their exhaustive list of regular users?
Or, did they mean "e.g" dog walkers? If so, is that their best example?

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by VerryBerry April 14, 10:53PM

The concern for me is that the proposal hides another agenda, parking seems to be the preferred option (lazy) for the council. I suspect they really want the CPZ that will naturally occur as a result of the users being displaced. I live very close to peckham Rye and can see that the park is well used throughout the week, especially the weekends. We have been impacted by the councils displacement of residents in a nearby estate who have been forced to park onto the streets surrounding the area including parks of the park, they will be there for some time apparently. What happens when these charges come in and they are then forced to use the other roads further displacing the issue? I've observed the comments surrounding the CPZ in East Dulwich and heavy handed approach to impose a cpz that will ultimately impact business. Money is tight all over, the vanity project of the local 'gala" would have been a good way to raise funds but the amount being paid appears woefully inadequate for the use of the park. So if costs were really a factor I'd expect this, the fair and other commercial users to be charged more. Not many people drive to the park who live locally but of those who do (like myself) I'm sure we've good reason- time constraints, mobility, logistics etc). It seems weird that commercial users su as those running work out clubs throughout the year haven't been asked to contribute more. The park has been underfunded for a number of years with the playground in a poor state for ages it's a shame to implement something like this which will have wider implications for such a small gain.

messageRe: Council parks to charge £2ph parking fee from 1 April
Posted by 5imon May 13, 08:30AM

A small bump for this thread - deadline for responses to the consultation is today, 13th May
The consultation is here:
[consultations.southwark.gov.uk]

and the feedback form is here:
[forms.southwark.gov.uk]

Pls provide feedback, either way.

Thanks.

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