Biggest & best independent local community forum, directory, marketplace, events
Another controlled parking zone is to be created right in the centre of Beckenham Town which will run from 8.00am-6.30pm and spread out to the surrounding roads. This is the 5-6th initiative Bromley Council has created in Beckenham and it's picking off bit by bit the whole of the area, converting it into one huge revenue generation scheme, a restrictive car park where residents have only the right if they pay for a space that had been free to park on their road and no where else in the great area they chose to move to.
If you go to the Council site you will not find a helpful map of the schemes or find each of them easily in their website, if they exist there at all that is. Why? Perhaps they don't want residents realising what it's up to, or how bad it is getting.
What is very concerning is that every time the Council instigates a review it neither makes the details clear or provides the questionnaire online, plus does not tell those in surrounding roads that the review is even being done.
The joined up thinking isn't done. Displacement causes then more grief and the domino effect is now well under way. What the Council are not doing is creating more parking spaces, nor are they demanding those who fund the schemes, normally a house developer or retail business etc to make sure in their plans they provide adequate parking. 30 spaces for 40 homes is not adequate. Given that most households even have 2 cars it is clear why the Council is not helping 'us' with their do the minimum policy.
I totally understand the reason why some people want a CPZ, but looking at the big picture, restrict travel, restrict shoppers, restrict freedom and even make people pay more for what was free and you soon suck out the life blood of what makes Beckenham so good and then it's easy to see why locals will say, "You know it's a hassle to go into town. Let's go to somewhere out of town that isn't restricted like a large retail park, superstore, etc." So Tesco win, Bluewater wins, your brilliant local fish shop, tailor, chemist, pub, charity shop, school etc loses out.
So before you wish for another CPZ, just think of what it will ultimately do to the local economy and area, and then wonder why more empty shops, failed businesses, someone you know loses their job and your houseprice declines - the Council is offering you a shiny apple, beware and think of the future of a town you might like better as it is now than the ghost town it surely coudl become.
I can't find a map or all the links on the Bromley Council website, but here is one that tells you in a broad scale the boroughs present schemes and their associated costs. Or you are guaranteed that those prices will rise and you'll never be able to switch off a CPZ.
One last thing, majority of votes for these schemes are in numbers who return their papers to the Council. If 2 out 3 people vote yes and 97 others don;t fill out the form on that one road then the '2' will create a CPZ that all 100 will have to pay for. That's not a majority, but the council says it is.
No public meetings, unless you force them to, and the only one's i@ve ever seen was when I started this website exactly on this issue 4 years ago.
Happy to hear all your views.
"I imagine everyone agrees ..." (on any controversial topic you can think of) looks like a shaky premise on which to base an argument. By extension, do you imagine that everyone agrees that the whole of Europe (from the Atlantic to the Urals) should have voted on Norwegian or Swiss or Faroese (or UK) independence of the EU?
thanks Reg, being picked up on my loose comment in my final paragraph has really added the debate here - well done. Shame you didn't actually respond to the points I was making with regards to the CPZ in Beckenham and my perception that it's an inequitable council practice which does not solve the problem it intends to.
and for the record, Norway et al would have voted on their own independence because they are accountable to their own national parliaments - just as I image (oh carfeul, loose words again?!?) Beckenham is an accountable 'ward' / borough within the local authority.
That's one of the great things about this website. In the same forum, we can debate the very local issue of whether you or I can park anywhere near ClockHouse Station whenever we like and the very big issue of what Democracy means.
You raised a very interesting point, John. Who should be allowed to vote on whether residents-only parking should apply in this road or that road or the other road? I'm sorry I responded to it only obliquely before. Thus far, the policy that Bromley Council has adopted is: 1) Carry out a survey in a designated area, by means of a 4- or 5-point questionnaire delivered door-to-door to each dwelling in the area, the key question being "Do you think controlled parking is needed in your road?"; 2) Tot up the votes for & against 'controlled parking needed' on a road-by-road basis; 3) By a simple majority of respondent votes, determine whether a particular road is "for" or "against" inclusion in a CPZ (though this type of survey has always been described as advisory, not a binding referendum); 4) Following the formal decision by the PortfolioHolder, implement the CPZ scheme; 5) Six months or so after implementation, re-survey households in the roads affected, with the key question: "Do you want the CPZ in your road to remain in place, to be removed or to be retained with certain specified amendments?" So, to sum up, only the residents (and business owners, if any) in a particular road are invited to vote on whether that particular road becomes part of the CPZ.
Is that fair and equitable? Well, in my view, it is. Residents in a particular road are best placed to give a view on whether their road has enough on-street parking capacity to be able to absorb parking by 'outsiders' (rail/tram commuters, staff at local hospitals, schools & businesses, customers for the sports-centre, recreation grounds, library, shops, etc.). If the road does get included in the CPZ, then all the residents in that road have to pay £40-80 per vehicle per year for a CPZ permit (whether they voted for a CPZ, voted against a CPZ or didn't bother to vote at all).
Should people living beyond that particular road be allowed to vote on whether or not it should become part of the CPZ? I don't think so. If you do think so, then where do you draw the line as to who can vote and who can't?
As for Beckenham's status, well, Beckenham Municipal Borough was created in 1935 and it was dissolved thirty years later. Beckenham was then effectively merged with Penge, Orpington, the core of Bromley and part of Chislehurst & Sidcup to create the London Borough of Bromley, which has been in existence for more than 45 years. So, sadly maybe, Beckenham is no longer an "accountable borough" and the "Beckenham area" is not a clearly defined territory, though it consists of big chunks of several separate Wards, including ClockHouse, CopersCope, Kelsey&EdenPark, plus parts of Shortlands, WestWickham and Penge&Cator.
Back to the wider world, yes, of course you're right: the people of Norway (and nobody else) voted in their referendums (Sep 1972 and Nov 1994) not to join the EU. Similarly, the people of Switzerland (and nobody else) voted in their referendums (May 1992 and March 2001). Thirty years after the Falklands War, there has been a lot of stuff in the news-media recently about the hallowed principle that each nation has the inalienable right to self-determination: each nation can freely choose its sovereignty and political status, free from outside interference. In my view, Scotland is certainly a nation: it has its own long-established systems of law and education. It even has its own football leagues, which are quite distinct from the leagues that English and Welsh teams play in. And although the UK has been governed by Tory Administrations several times since WW2, there have always been very few Tory MPs in Scottish constituencies. Right now, there is only one (out of a total of 59 Scottish MPs). There was only one during the 2001/05 and 2005/10 Parliaments and there were none at all in the 1997/2001 Parliament. So, rather than imagining that everyone can/should agree on all UK residents voting on Scotland's future, it is arguable that the voting on that issue (whenever it may come) should be restricted to Scottish residents.
Great answer Reg, thanks for the large amount of time you spent writing it - I disagree with some parts of it, but don't want to reiterate some of my earlier points.
totally agree that a CPZ can help people. The stress i have with a family when i cannot park anywhere, and i mean anywhere near my home is awful. It's dangerous too, i sometimes walk over 1km with my toddler and baby, crossing roads etc just to get to my house from where i have parked. What, so people can enjoy the freedom parking where they like. I only use my car for long journey's so it's when i return with all my bags etc that i am stuck. Can't wait for a CPZ so i can park within eye shot of my house.
F Thomas said:
To be fair to Mat...it is actually quite useful in day-to-day life to be able to park somewhere vaguely near one's own house occasionally. I find it so patronising when people (like you) 'point out' that no-one has a 'right' to park outside one's own house. I think it can be safely assumed that we all know that. We ALL really, really already know that. But thanks for pointing it out anyway.
The CPZ in my road has made my life a whole lot easier. I can recommend them.
Does anyone know if the council or other agency provide an online facility to report illegal/dangerous parking? On Blakeney Ave we had double yellow lines added on the junction with Blakeney Road to stop cars parking right on the junction which was really dangerous.
This afternoon, despite the double yellow lines, a car is parked on the double yellow lines on the junction! I think the car might have a disabled badge, does this mean the car can be parked anywhere? Surely dangerous parking is dangerous parking?