By Councillor Dave Wilson / Transport / 0 Comments

At Canterbury council’s Regeneration Committee on 21st January, Labour Councillors voted against the proposed changes to parking charges. Although the proposals contained some useful ideas, Labour felt the proposals were inadequate to the challenge facing the District.

 

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Dave Wilson said:

 

The most important question here is how the Council addresses the tensions in the different objectives the Council has: revenue raising; changing travel behaviour to reduce pollution and climate change impacts; and supporting our High Streets.

These are incompatible aims. The report does nothing to discuss what our priorities are or should be, or how to balance them. These are bigger issues than can be dealt with in a report solely about parking charges and we need a proper overriding policy discussion.

Of the three objectives, revenue raising for the Council ought to be the lowest priority, because responsibility for the under-funding of local Government predominantly rests with central Government, which could resolve our budget problems in other ways if it chose to. But the other issues – climate change and the future of the High Street – are serious, immediate, and affect all our residents and businesses.

Much more consultation with the business communities is required to meet their concerns. If we don’t support the High Streets NOW then there may be nothing left to save in 2022/23. We didn’t listen to the pleas of hoteliers expressed at the Canterbury Forum a year ago on this issue.

Not one of the identified aims set out in the report relates to Climate Change. Coming on top of the Council’s failure to insist on non-diesel buses for Park and Ride and non-diesel vehicles for the Canterbury Environment Company, this demonstrates a complete failure of the Council to live up to the promises made in the climate emergency declared in July 2019. We need a 10 year strategy to wean the Council off parking income, discourage car usage, and protect the high streets in whatever forms they exist by then. Until we get that, policies like this are inadequate to the challenges we face.”

In the debate Councillors George Caffery and Chris Cornell both spoke passionately against the decision to remove the amount of free parking available to the disabled. Watch the video below to hear their argument

By Councillor Chris Cornell / Transport / / 0 Comments

Canterbury City Council discuss changes to parking bays and yellow lines in their Annual On Street Parking Review. Anyone can recommend a change to on street parking online and historically these ideas were discussed once a year in a meeting open to the public (the Whitstable Forum). Local councillors then, having heard from all the affected parties, made recommendations to the Joint Transport Board which decides on these matters. The attendance at these public meetings was always good.

When the current administration decided to cancel the Whitstable Forum last year, local councillors were asked to submit their own  opinions on the recommendations. We have listened hard to representations from across the ward and are choosing to make our recommendations public to improve transparency. You deserve to know what we think and why we have come to the conclusions we have.

You will find detail of all the proposals listed here.

Our recommendations are:

 

 

 

6805

Proposed disabled bay – 1a Harbour Street

Support

Disabled parking is limited in the high street. There is no dedicated disabled bay at this end of Harbour Street.

6810

Proposed disabled bay – 29-30 Harbour Street, Whitstable

Oppose

The 1 hours free parking in this location is essential to independent local businesses. Loading on this street is already problematic and the current parking bay prevents unnecessary blocking of the bus stop opposite. Disabled parking is available in Albert Street car parking opposite.

6840

Proposed disabled bay – 51-59  High Street

Oppose

The need for additional disabled bays raised in 2019 has recently been mitigated by the reopening of 4 bays in Gladstone Road. Local shopkeepers have highlighted reducing the length of this bay would prevent loading to their businesses, particularly when the loading bay outside Iceland is often entirely filled by large wheel based vehicles for some length of time.

6850

Proposed conversion of loading bay to disabled bay – 79-83 High Street

Oppose

As with 6840

6910

Conversion of lading bay to taxi rank, Oxford Street

Modify

Removing the loading bay from this location would cause significant congestion when setting up for the regular weekend markets at the Umbrella Centre and the pop up space at the Whitstable Museum. Whilst we understand why licensed premises in Oxford Street want improved taxi provision, and think this location is preferable to people using the bus stop outside St Alphege School, we not think there will be much call for it during the day. We would recommend it remain a loading bay but become a taxi rank after 6pm.

6935

Proposed disabled parking bay, Nelson Road

Support

There is little disabled parking infrastructure near Oxford Street. The removal of existing no waiting outside 1a provides additional residential parking lost in the installation of the electric charging bay further down the street.

6950

Removal of yellow lines, Norfolk Street, Suffolk Street and Glebe Way

Support

The residential density in this area is particularly high and a massive problem. Reducing the yellow lines in this area creates an additional give parking space without limiting acces to the streets essential for refuse collection.

26705

Proposed Double Yellow Lines, Albert Street, Whitstable

Modify

Residential parking in this area is particularly difficult with many residents refusing to move their cars in the summer season. Whilst we appreciate the need for improved refuse access to Warwick Road, we believe the vans can load from Victoria Road or via Regents Street it necessary. We would recommend yellow lines are added in front of the Nursery only, improving access at the corner of Stream Walk and Albert Street and allowing for the nursery to best utilise its off road spaces. We would not support the remaining yellow lines.

26710

Proposed Double Yellow Lines, Acton Road and Albert Street

Support

New restrictions will make it safer for people exiting Stream Walk and improve access for refuse vehicles.

264840

Proposed repositioning of a disabled bay, Belton Close

Support

Parking in Belton Close is difficult but relocation of the disabled bay to be nearer the house of those people using it is advantageous

26855

Proposed double yellow lines, Old Bridge Road

Oppose

Whilst we thoroughly support the ambitions of the scheme to improve cycling in our town, there is no confirmation that removing this stretch of parking would see a cycle lane immediately installed or where this would go to. We would support this application when funding has been allocated and permission granted for final stretch of the Crab and Winkle from Teynham Road.

26870

Proposed Double Yellow Lines, Belmont Road

Oppose

Whilst there is limited sight lines for vehicles exiting Old Millfield Works, removing any waiting along this stretch of Belmont Road would likely just create more difficulty for local residents. The restrictions would affect residents using the Cricket Club and Football Club and encourage people to park off road in Windsor House where we have already had complaints.

26875

Proposed Double Yellow Lines, Glebe Way

Oppose

Whilst we understand that new lines here would benefit residents of Foreland Cottages, they have good off-road parking. Installing new lines here would substantially reduce capacity in an area where it is needed most.

By George Caffery / Transport / / 0 Comments

Can you park outside your house? For many people living in the centre of town this is a dream; but why can’t we make it a reality?

The last month has shown us that a one way system across Whitstable might just work, but also that any change to traffic needs to consider the impact it has on local businesses, road safety and be done in conjunction with a rethink of how people who depend on public transport get into town.

Last weekend, Labour MP Rosie Duffield, was out with local candidates in the centre of Whitstable, hearing how the almost 300% rise in off street parking permits over the last five years is hitting people hard. She described the  “the council is ‘cashing in’ on growing waiting lists for these places rather than considering new ways to stop the high street and local streets being gridlocked”. We all understand that tourism brings money into our town but this council isn’t squaring up to the traffic it brings.

Labour is committed to a new Park and Ride for the Whitstable but more importantly also believes we need an independent strategic plan to be commissioned to explore the problem of parking. A plan in which the council can work alongside concerned residents associations, businesses and local residents to identify the options and then consult widely across the town as to which has the greatest support. A consultation which involves face to face stakeholder events, local surveys and town hall style meetings to engage with all the local community rather than just those groups who are most organised.

All options should be on the table, like in Bristol’s recent’s consultation on Citizen Space.

George Caffrey, Labour candidate for Gorrell, notes that “previous attempts to impose solutions haven’t worked, nothing should be off the table. We need radical ideas we can all get behind”. If you agree, vote Labour on May 2