RA Roads and Traffic - News
 

February 2015
Speed checks on Suburb roads - 11 groups of RA results

Using a speed checker purchased by the RA, and after consulting the local police, the Roads and Traffic committee has carried out speed checks on Suburb roads - seven so far - to provide measured evidence for those asserting traffic speeds, whether high or low. These are necessarily snapshots, as the equipment requires an operator in attendance (sitting in a car), rather than automated tests over days, but the equipment is understood to be highly accurate, and the results are of interest, covering between 25 and 105 vehicles at each location.

For the results, click here (updated to September, 2018) 

If a resident would like a check carried out, at present we will try to oblige if you email ratraffic@hgs.org.uk with your name & address and the requested location.


September 2014
Alert ! Barnet’s CPZ consultation–more fees & fewer permits

Alert! – Barnet’s CPZ consultation – more fees & fewer permits 

-          and perhaps camera enforcement of moving traffic contraventions 

Barnet Council has issued a draft parking policy which should be of great concern to residents in the existing CPZs (‘Controlled Parking Zones’) and to those who may become CPZ residents in any extension. Currently CPZ permits are currently sold at a flat rate across the borough, but the Council is considering linking the price of a permit to a wide list of variables including location, congestion, number of controlled hours, size of vehicle and other environmental factors – and limiting the number of permits per household.  

Many of the variables the Council proposes to use are vague by nature, subjective, or difficult to measure which may make any challenges to large CPZ price increases difficult to mount. The implication for Suburb residents is that higher CPZ costs (possibly much higher) may be expected.  

In addition and despite a recent central government recommendation that camera surveillance be scaled down, Barnet is also considering the introduction of camera enforcement of box junctions, banned turn locations and sites where other moving traffic contraventions may be monitored. Many local authorities already use such powers indiscriminately with little regard to mitigating circumstances.  Furthermore penalty charge notices served by post, days or weeks after the event, often makes it almost impossible to mount a challenge, and there is a widespread suspicion that access to such powers has led some local authorities to introduce unnecessary restrictions in the interests of maximising revenue. 

The public consultation regarding both CPZ charges and moving traffic enforcement (closing date 28th October 2014) may be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/parkingpolicy . However as the survey appears designed in such a way as to make the interpretation of any results highly subjective, the RA’s Roads & Traffic Committee recommends that residents additionally make their views on these matters known directly to our councillors. 

The parking and traffic management plan (page 18 briefly refers to a review of the current “flat fee” borough-wide for permits) may be found at http://engage.barnet.gov.uk/development-regulatory-services/parking-policy-consultation/user_uploads/parking-policy-12_08_2014.pdf   

If you wish to quiz our Councillors on this before consultation closes, come to the Open Meeting in the Suburb on Tuesday October 7th (8pm) at Friends Meeting House 17 North Square NW11 7AD (in the corner, 50 metres from the top of Northway).


August 2014
Wildwood Rd parking -revised proposals -comments by Sept 11

Revised proposals for parking restrictions in Wildwood Road were published by Barnet, and sent to residents, on 31 July 2014, seeking comments by 11 September.

The purposes are to protect sight lines, reduce parking obstruction and create alternative parking spaces near the top end of the road to maintain access to the Heath.

An open meeting, organised by the RA and addressed by Barnet officials, had been attended by 37 residents and Cllrs Harper (before his retirement) and Rozenberg (his successor). The key concern had been the danger to children and dogs emerging from parked cars who would have been obliged, under the original proposals, to cross the road to the houses.

The revised proposals no longer restrict parking in front of the houses, while restricting certain lengths on the Heath side, but would remove short lengths of yellow line on the Heath side near the top of the road (before the bend) as suggested by some residents.

Additionally, half the stretch from Hampstead Way towards the bend, on the south side, would have a one-hour restriction to deter commuters and long-term caravan parkers (the 5-6pm time enabling teachers from King Alfred school to park there rather than opposite Ingram Avenue where there is to be a restriction). This was part of the holistic approach to the whole road suggested by residents and supported by Cllr Harper.

Restrictions are also proposed by the roundabout and at the junction with Meadway.

The RA is listening to residents' views, albeit not always in agreement with one another.

September 10th: Since the above was posted, there have been three sets of residents' views emerging on [HGS] Lists or by email. Regarding the proposed two lengths (16 cars) that would be unrestricted at the top end of the road (currently yellow line), while in the March meeting residents were speaking (as mentioned above) re the Heath side yellow line, the proposing resident apparently meant the houses' side, and this has become controversial to the residents at that end who want no parking (as at present near the top) on the Heath side and possibly wish to retain the one-hour restriction on the houses' side.

There was a fairly widely held view of residents at the March meeting that no changes were needed at all. Barnet had started from the request by, it seemed, some resident(s) to protect the corners of exits from close(s). On inspection Barnet became concerned regarding sightlines generally at the lower end, but accepted that residents believe that drivers slow down, and - as one resident put it - no evidence had been adduced of accidents. The revised proposals are less restrictive at the lower end, and are now mainly on the Heath side; whether they are needed at all is for residents to submit to Barnet.

Thirdly, a couple of emails to Lists in September have expressed support for the proposed yellow lines on the corner of Wildwood Road and Meadway.

The RA's response to Barnet last November focused on access to the Heath, and as their proposals may alter yet again, we have reminded them of this.

Gary Shaw, chair, Roads & Traffic (RA) at ratraffic@hgs.org.uk


August 2014
Kingsley Way threat to parking by shops-RA solution proposed

The RA, at the request of local shops, has countered Barnet's proposed parking restriction on the short stretch of Kingsley Way south of the mews by the Market Place, with evidence that the traffic difficulties are nearer the Middleway junction. The valued parking for 5 cars does not block the traffic lights because the opposite side of the road has a 24/7 restriction, and there is room for traffic in both directions so long as parking is only one side of the road.

Cllr Rozenberg has supported the RA, and Barnet has agreed to consider this while preparing their response to the May 29th consultation regarding all the junctions in the Market Place.

The Barnet review arose from the discovery that Transport for London's red lines in the side roads were not enforceable, the proposal now being for double yellow lines in approximately the same places, but with some additions such as a small extension in Northway beyond Toulous cafe to protect the bend.

The Kingsley Way consultation revealed that its junction with Middleway may need protecting with yellow lines but if that becomes a proposal, it would be preceded by a separate consultation.


March 2014
Blue badge holders if ticketed at Hampstead Way (top end)

Any blue badge holder who has been given tickets in Hampstead Way (top end, close to the North End Road junction) should contact the R&T Committee on ratraffic@hgs.org.uk preferably before contacting the Council and essentially before paying.

Barnet Council Highways maintenance department has acknowledged that kerb loading flashes are badly faded beside the double yellow lines at that point. They have confirmed that these will be repainted by the end of March.

However, the Council's enforcement department is routinely rejecting appeals from blue badge holders who have received PCNs (parking tickets) at this location. Blue badge holders may park on double yellow lines other than where loading restrictions apply, and some have done so mistakenly at Hampstead Way because the loading flashes cannot be seen.

Any blue badge holder ticketed at this spot should contact ratraffic@hgs.org.uk preferably before contacting the Council and essentially before paying. The RA's Roads & Traffic Committee will be pleased to help you with an appeal and, if necessary, we can assist you in taking your case to the independent adjudicator.


March 2014
March 25 at Fellowship Ho 8pm re Wildwood Rd

Wildwood Road residents are concerned that a Barnet proposal for yellow lines will prevent them parking outside their own houses. The RA has written to Barnet that the parking problem does not require such extensive action. On March 25, at Cllr John Marshall's request, Barnet Highways will attend a meeting to hear residents' views.

Tuesday, 25th March at 8pm, Fellowship House, 136A Willifield Way NW11 6YD


April 2013
CPZ consultation - RA letter sent to LB Barnet

The R&T committee proposed a Resolution to the RA Council in January, following the open meeting regarding the LB Barnet proposal for a CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone) in Hampstead Way (Temple Fortune end) and adjacent streets. The Resolution was passed, as follows:

“The RA Council remains opposed in principle to the extension of the Suburb CPZs as currently operated, and calls upon the London Borough of Barnet to introduce a revised approach to local parking problems which better balances the needs of different groups of road users.  Nonetheless, it recognises the parking problems experienced by residents of Hampstead Way (and some neighbouring roads) and acknowledges that a CPZ may satisfy their immediate requirements.”

Barnet embarked on a statutory consultation at the end of February, to which the RA has sent the attached letter dated 3rd April 2013.


September 2012
Falloden Way from 24th Sept: gas main: 8 weeks diversions

Information for residents: disruption on and around Falloden Way, probably from 24th September to 1st February (4 months) - with around 8 weeks of actual diversions.

The gas main is being replaced and there are likely to be severe delays, especially overnight. The Hill Rise/Market Place junction will be closed from 24th September for up to eight weeks with diversions via Ossulton Way. 


January 2012
Summary of Open Meeting on Parking and Traffic of 6 December

The second of the RA’s new series of Open Meetings.

  • Richard Wiseman welcomed  Neil Richardson (NR), Highways Manager for Traffic and Development at LB Barnet.
  • Ward Councillors had been invited to attend but they all had Borough meetings to attend. 

This report sets out the matters discussed of general interest.  Some residents used the meeting as an opportunity to bring up issues relating to particular streets; these were taken up by Mr Richardson who will be responding to the people who raised them.  For the sake of brevity they are not reported here. 

Gary Shaw, for the RA's R&T committee, gave a brief overview of the new restrictions and parking regulations.  He gave three examples of overregulation and inept enforcement by LBB regarding parking tickets unfairly or incorrectly issued where he had been able to help the residents and had their tickets cancelled. NR said that cases like these should be taken up with the local Councillors.  

Gary also noted:

  • The recent increase in parking charges together with the introduction of a policy of providing only cashless meters which, he said, were creating a decline in business in Temple Fortune. Traders used the Finchley and Golders Green Forum (provided by LBB) to present a petition to LB Barnet. To alleviate the problem LBB were introducing scratch cards for purchase in some local shops in denominations of £1 and £2.  It was pointed out that similar cards, issued in the neighbouring borough, required 13 pieces of information every time they are used.
  • Councillors are given permits to park at any time in the Borough without payment (when on Council business). They operate outside the regulations that they impose on all residents.
  • With regard to the speed limit being reduced on the Suburb, a compromise between safety and convenience was necessary. The accident rate on the Suburb is low although the perception may be different. Gary did not consider that reducing speed would make a difference to safety.

A resident, who had been an ambulance driver, said that while speed humps slow down the traffic they create problems for emergency services.

A resident of Willifield Way pointed out that speed tables had been removed and a petition he had presented to LBB had been ignored. 

Speeding buses were also an issue in Willifield Way and elsewhere. 

The chairman asked if the recent 20pmh speed limit in LB Islington would be looked at by Barnet; NR said that there were no plans to do so. Residents pointed out that much of the Suburb is subject to a 20 mph speed limit which was not enforced; NR would look into this. 

NR confirmed that it was Council policy to take out road humps when roads are resurfaced and he was not in a position to comment on policy.  He also reminded the meeting that financial resources are directed to areas where there are accidents.  He expressed some reservations about the long term effectiveness of vehicle activated signs. 

CPZs were discussed at length.  The issues complained of were:

  • that they simply displaced parking from controlled areas to non-controlled areas;
  • that the charges kept climbing.  NR acknowledged that parking revenue was used for other highway purposes and thus indirectly reduced Council Tax. 

It was suggested the CPZ be suspended for a week and the effects be monitored by independent observers.  NR said that this would not happen. 

NR said that LBB has no plan to extend the CPZ in the area. However, LBB listens to residents’ concerns.  A petition  had been presented by residents about parking restrictions in Hampstead Way.   Displacement parking is an inevitable consequence of a CPZ.  

A review had recently been conducted into the CPZ, and Temple Fortune residents had not stated that they do not want the CPZ in their area.  When responding to a request for a CPZ, his department takes access and sight lines into account in making their recommendation. 

Residents referred to the problems of (a) people going on holiday for up to three weeks and leaving their cars on unrestricted roads and (b) a car repair company leaving cars in some locations.  NR said that there is nothing that LBB can do about legally parked cars.

It was suggested that LBB should allow 30 minutes free parking as:

  • This would help residents and shop keepers.   
  • It could help LBB, as empty shops do not pay business rates. 

NR said that:

  • a pay and display scheme tailored for the shopping area was introduced successfully in Edgware;
  • LBB could look at options to encourage a rapid turnover of parking in Temple Fortune with appropriate enforcement. The CPZ must be self financing.  Residents who live in a non CPZ area would probably not want to financially support residents who do. 

A resident said that physical changes were made after a report in 1971 regarding rat runs on the Suburb and asked what alternatives to speed humps are available for traffic calming.  Neil Richardson said that everyone ‘rat runs’ to a certain extent.  The answer is that traffic should be encouraged to flow efficiently on the main roads. 

A one-way system was suggested for Asmuns Hill/Temple Fortune Hill.  NR said that this would encourage speeding, carried other safety risks and would be expensive to introduce. 

The obstruction caused by basement development was discussed.  There is a major development at the corner of Hampstead Way/Meadway.  The building contractors had been allowed to take up space on the public highway, part of which is being used as an office.  When the contractor empties the skip, the road is blocked for about 15 minutes, obstructing the H2 bus and all traffic. NR would look into this case which appeared to be a particularly bad example of disruption caused by development of this sort. 

It was pointed out that:

  • consent had just been given by LBB to a basement in Erskine Hill.  Developers should pay for a licence and enforcement officials should check that conditions were being complied with and the traffic management issues addressed.
  • LBB could, a residenty suggested, develop a licencing policy for skips, to restrict basement development where there was no room on the property for the skip. 

The chairman said that the RA is happy to help residents with traffic/parking issues and if anyone would like to volunteer their services to assist the R&T Committee, they would be very welcome.


November 2011
Parking/Traffic - Open Forum - Tues 6 Dec, 8pm Fellowship Ho

Have your say at the Residents Association's next Open Forum on: 

Parking and Traffic on the Suburb 

Tuesday 6th December, 8pm at Fellowship House, 136a Willifield Way 

Parking, congestion and other road problems are becoming a growing issue on the Suburb 

The RA is holding another in its series of Open Meetings to hear residents' views and to help represent residents to the London Borough of Barnet and others

 


July 2011
Help with parking tickets

The R&T Committee can often help with parking ticket or moving traffic ticket cases (particularly where these have been issued to elderly motorists or those with illness or mobility problems). If you believe you have been unjustly issued with a ticket please contact us at raparking@hgs.org.uk

NB: Tickets are still being issued for parking with one or more wheels on the pavement. Although sometimes it is not practical to park any other way in narrow roads, to do so is against the rules except where it has been specifically permitted - eg Asmuns Place.

Footpath damage:

Alan Armstrong-Wright has used the website Fix My Street to
apply pressure to LBB where the Council had been dilatory carrying out work.




 
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