Let’s sort out the parking, shall we?

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With council elections coming up, all the political parties are claiming ownership of the best ideas around. A lot of these, unsurprisingly, are about transport. You’ve probably had a lot of literature through your letterbox saying: “Support the [insert name of party here] campaign to get [insert name of really obvious transport proposal which everybody wants]”. However, when it comes to the more contentious stuff, most of the political parties get a bit more vague.

A group of residents from in and around Cambridge has got together to try to attempt to come up with some innovative solutions to our transport problems, without having to worry about any effect on political electability. Smarter Cambridge Transport (disclaimer – I am a member) is steadily developing policies and campaigning to have them adopted by the councils or the City Deal organisation. If you’re interested in transport ideas, I’d thoroughly recommend spending some time on the Smarter Cambridge Transport website.

One of the many issues which the members of Smarter Cambridge Transport have already addressed is something close to many of our hearts here in Queen Edith’s – on-street parking. They’ve written a really intelligent paper on the subject, which can be found here. Do give it a read if you have time.

The group is calling for the councils “to work together and adopt a city-wide approach to implementing neighbourhood street parking schemes where needed”. This is not a massive request; it’s not asking for draconian action with no way back, over the wishes of residents. The group is simply asking for a six-month trial of city-wide neighbourhood parking schemes, allowing local communities to choose the most suitable parking controls for each area. This seems eminently sensible, but to demonstrate the obvious to the councils and to the City Deal Executive Board, a petition has to be raised. Take a look, and if you agree with the petition’s requests, do please sign it. I just have, and it only took a minute.

Sign the petition: On-Street Parking in Cambridge: a request for co-ordinated action at the Cambridgeshire County Council website.

7 Replies to “Let’s sort out the parking, shall we?”

  1. As I understand it, this was the burden of the CJAC decision on residents parking last January or the reason for making it at any rate. The parking scheme was done area by area and just about every councillor felt it didn’t go far enough to tackling the problem. There aren’t any meetings scheduled (as least they aren’t on the County Council website) though I think they wanted to have it sorted by the about the middle of the year. (ish.)

  2. Why does this keep coming up? In QE we are nearly all lucky enough to have drives, so who cares if people park legally on the street? We are actually pretty fed up that now neither we, nor our visitors, can park outside our house because well meaning councillors have got yellow lines put there. Its not on-street parking I’m worried about- its on-pavement parking , and nobody seems to be able to do anything about that!

  3. I’m not sure the residents of the streets linking Hills Road and Rock Road would share your opinion, Jeremy. But the whole point of the petition is to ask the Council to develop a co-ordinated, city-wide strategy, where individual streets can determine what they have.

    1. OK I didn’t realize that our friends in Rock Road area were included in this as its usually the ‘Addenbrookes Problem’ that is cited, but sure there will be areas where parking is much more intensive and drives aren’t available. I remember when living in Thoday Street if you lost your space near your house you might have to park 150 yards away. Maybe Residents Parking in some of these roads nearer town is needed

  4. Pavements are for walking, not parking, and the condition of the pavements on which cars are regularly parked (e.g. in Marshall Road) bears witness to this. I regularly see young mothers walking to school with small children in the middle of the road because the pavements are either impassable or in a poor state. And we are well provided with Park & Ride sites, the one in Babraham Road being very poorly used. A story in yesterday’s ‘Times’ suggested that the government is contemplating banning pavement parking more widely. This would restore the pavements to the use for which they were designed but would have to be done in conjunction with the introduction of a Residents’ Parking scheme.

    1. The increasing tendency for (and apparent social acceptance of) pavement parking is very annoying. Glad to hear it pisses other people off too. There is plenty of road to park in, and no good reason for using the pavements too.

      Getting the police to do anything about it is almost impossible, despite driving on the pavement being illegal, and it being most unlikely that the vehicle got there any other way. The LAPE people can’t do anything unless the gap is less than wheelchair width (then it counts as ‘obstruction’) (or there is a double-yellow line, in which case parking on the pavement counts exactly the same as parking on the rd).

      As to on-road parking, like Jeremy, I don’t object in principle, but it does cause significant problems. One is that it can be a problem for cycling – making an otherwise pleasant road narrow and unpleasant (e.g. Red Cross Lane). Another is that the existence of free on-rd parking generates a lot of commuting traffic, which in turn generates congestion (slows buses and deliveries and other cars), and makes cycling conditions worse. Removing free parking for non-residents is one of the cheapest ways of encouraging modal shift.

      Also a great deal of public space in Cambridge is given over to private motor vehicle storage – too much IMHO. It’s educational to look at old photos of streets to remind oneself that it wasn’t always nose-to-tail vehicles as far as the eye could see.

  5. Dear Residents
    I would like congratulate Manus Deb for bringing up the subject of parking in Addenbrookes the constant problem no one has dealt with in the last 10 to 15 years a subject I am passionate about and so is he , this lack of expertise by council members on a simple subject yet has eluded their occupied minds ,Lib Dems and Labour have IGNORED the ISSUES Lib Dems went as far as asking residents which side of the road was preferred ,do you mind people blocking your drive .YES we do,? Labour haven’t even touched the issue ,If there was any experience these councillors would benefit largely .
    WHAT could have been done simple ,FORCE Addenbrookes to build an underground car park so large it could fit 2000 – 3000 vehicles problem sorted ,this would clear skyline and would have created parkland and greenery ,there still may be time if we pull our fingers joe public sort this out before my CAMBRIDGE is ruined .

    Second issue Hills rd what a mess its a disaster horrible architecture ,cycle routes ready to kill and narrowing of lanes for buses and cycles ready for complete jam and frustration ,certain death trap ,who commissioned millions of pounds for something a child could have designed ,I’m waiting for the day a bus has a breakdown this will cause hours of traffic delaying Ambulances and fire engines .
    the list is long if you really care about your town then give the right people the chance to sort this mess out ,don’t put the person who wants to keep your bins clean , or i have always voted labour policy get the party in who have the strength and knowledge to put this town straight and on its feet .
    MAKE THAT CHANGE.

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