Last July Councillor Brian Coleman sneaked through a whole raft of changes to Parking restrictions in Barnet. He is well known for his stealth tax his parking policies. The five main ones, which have affected just about everyone are as follows :-
1) Hiking up parking charges on High Streets and car parks, driving away customers and shutting shops
2) Aboloshing pay and display parking on High Streets
3) Hiking up the price of Resident CPZ permits
4) Abolition of "free bays" in Resident CPZ parking zones
5) Outsourcing the parking warden contract to a company with a reputation for overzealous enforcement
All of these measures are designed to do one thing. Squeeze more money out of motorists and residents. Sadly for Brian Coleman (and the rest of us), not only have these policies failed miserably in their target of raising extra cash ( rumour has it that the parking account is down by £500,000 as people shun council car parks). As people have sought free spaces outside of the restrictions, roads have become clogged, congestion has risen and residents have been inconvenienced.
Given that the sole purpose of parking restrictions is to "ease the flow of traffic", this means that the policy has not only been an abject failure, but it is probably illegal. Coleman cannot claim that the policy is to ease traffic flow, because papers published on the Council website prove this is not the case. The Barnet Eye suggests that a judicial review should be performed of Colemans policies and in the meantime they should be reversed. The complete failure of Colemans policies are laid bare in this document on the Barnet Council website -
Let me quote the document :-
8. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
8.1 In June 2011 the Council completed a scheme whereby all ‘Free’ parking bays were converted to permit holder or paid for parking bays in the borough’s Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs). As a result of the changes made to the Mill Hill East CPZ, a proportionate level of displaced parking is occurring on both sides of Bittacy Hill on the outskirts of the CPZ boundary.
8.2 The council has been contacted by roads users and local residents, complaining of the congestion being caused as through vehicles are being obstructed by the displaced parking.
8.3 London Buses have reported to the council that the displaced parking is obscuring sightlines and obstructing through traffic, preventing their buses from gaining suitable access through the road, resulting in the delay of their services. They also stated that this situation has caused major congestion in both directions on Bittacy Hill and therefore, have had to temporarily put some of their buses on diversion.
8.4 In addition, the Police have also expressed concerns regarding this location, and have requested for waiting restrictions to be introduced.
8.5 Following investigations including site observations, Officers concluded that major congestion occurs on the hill at this location, and in order to keep traffic movingthrough the borough considered that the provision of waiting restrictions would be appropriate given the obstructive parking which is taking place.
8.6 Therefore, proposals to introduce lengths of ‘at any time’ waiting restrictions on certain lengths of Bittacy Hill including around its junctions with Bittacy Close and Engle Park, were designed in order to deter obstructive parking and improve traffic flow, sightlines and safety.
8.7 In anticipation of the statutory consultation, Mill Hill Ward Members were consulted on the proposals with all advising of their agreement and support of the measures for the area. In particular, Councillors Khatri and Hart stated that they had also received complaints on this matter or have experienced problems themselves. Councillor Hart did raise the issue that more restrictions may cause more problems to the wider area as did Councillor Schama.
8.8 However, Officers consider that any displaced parking that may occur as a result of the introduction of the restrictions can be absorbed into the local network with
8.9 In mid August it was necessary to introduce emergency temporary waiting restrictions on the eastern side of Bittacy Hill, as nearby Devonshire Road was closed to allow for essential maintenance works to take place, which resulted in an increased traffic flow on Bittacy Hill that exasperated the problems occurring at the location.
8.9 Traffic cones were placed on street to indicate the temporary waiting restrictions, and the location was monitored by Officers. Observations showed that displaced parking was minimal and what did occur had little impact on the area. It was concluded that the removal of the parked vehicles at this location was very effective in relieving the congestion normally experienced.
8.10 Additional supporting evidence underlining the concern via photographs showing buses being obstructed and the congestion experienced were sent to the council and a petition signed by all residents of Bittacy Close was also submitted, asking for waiting restrictions to be implemented at the junction of Bittacy Close and Bittacy Hill.
8.14 Councillor Khatri and Councillor Hart have since also reaffirmed their views and support for the proposals. In particular, they advised of their concerns regarding safety being an issue at this location. Councillor Hart also re-iterated his concerns for residents of Bittacy Close, who suffer from obstruction at the junction of Bittacy Close and Bittacy Hill.
Bittacy Hill Parking restrictions
This document lays bare the failure of the parking policies of Brian Coleman. It exposes the fact that rather than easing traffic flow, they are creating mayhem, tying up Police resources, ruining the lives of residents, making buses late and worst of all threatening public safety. In short Brian Coleman and his polices have been thoroughly discredited. Even worse is the fact that rather than admit that Colemans policies are to blame, the lame Mill Hill Conservative Councillors have buried their heads in the sand and refused to address the real cause of the problem.
The Barnet Eye will today be contacting local press, local councillors and the Leadership of Barnet Council to demand a full review of the disaster which Brian Coleman has inflicted on the London Borough of Barnet. Is there anyone in Barnet who seriously thinks that Brian Coleman deserves re-election for a £52,000 a year part time job at the GLA in MAy? His level of competence is laid bare here.