Friday, January 9, 2009

Residents' Parking Rejected by Blinco Area

Resident's in the Blinco Grove area of Queen Edith's have rejected plans for resident's parking in the area, in a humiliating blow to local Lib Dems Councillors who have been pushing for the scheme, after forcing through the bizarre consultation arrangements at the relevant committee.

The combined results from the recent consultation exercise in the Blinco Grove/Rock Road/Hartington Grove area in response to the question: Do you support the introduction of on street parking controls in your area?

Strong support - 91 (27%)
Support - 27 (8%)
Don't know - 13 (4%)
Disagree - 30 (9%)
Strongly disagree - 171 (52%)

A clear majority of 61% disagreeing with the plans, that would have seen local residents forced to by resident's parking permits if they wanted to park on the road.

As part of the dogs breakfast of a consultation, Coleridge residents in the Rustat Road area were asked what they thought of the plans to introduce resident's parking in the adjacent Blinco Grove area, and its pretty clear from the results that the question was misinterpreted as should resident's parking be introduced in their area (the question as posed being ridiculous - there is clearly only downsides to resident's parking in an adjacent area). As such, the support in this area was evenly split. Hopefully the Lib Dems on the joint traffic committee will now take note of this fiasco and the objections to the consultation that we raised at the time.

On the Blinco Grove area, I think all Coleridge Councillors agree that most of the problem relates to a relatively small number of vehicles from Hills Road Sixth Form College, that could be fixed instantly if the school had more robust policies on student car usage. But the situation could change rapidly for Coleridge once new developments are built. We would like to ensure Rustat Road area residents are given the opportunity to introduce resident's parking if clearly supported, once the effects developments such as the CB1 station redevelopment and former Cambridge Water site start to be felt.

But in the long term, when are the planners (leaned on by central government policy) going to realise that you can't solve transport problems by pretending that people can be forced out of their cars just by providing insufficient parking spaces. In existing areas, verge parking and other related 'lack of parking' issues are just about the biggest complaint in Councillors' in trays, but at least they have the excuse of being built in an era before near universal car ownership. To build a new generation of developments like Ashwell's CB1 and the Tim Brinton flats that make a virtue of providing wholly insufficient onsite parking is amongst the most shortsighted decisions being made in planning today. In 30 years time we we look back with our carbon-neutral personal vehicles and wonder what on earth people were thinking.

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