Surprise yellow lines on Baldock Way to join new ones on Cav Ave

The recent introduction of a Residents Parking Zone in the “Morley Area” highlighted one glaring error: the failure to plan for the knock-on effects on neighbouring roads. While Cavendish Avenue has taken the bulk of the predictable displaced parking, it’s a wide road, and while inconvenient for residents there, the more serious impact has been in the narrow Baldock Way. Every last inch of the short stretch between Blinco Grove and Cavendish Avenue is now taken up with pavement parking during the day, and in the stretch between Cavendish Avenue and Hills Avenue, the grass verges have become a public car park too. Some of these were reinforced at great expense a few years ago and have already been ruined.

Needless to say, the parked cars make walking and especially cycling difficult, which is an issue opposite a primary school, and another reason to discourage parents from getting children to school by foot or bike.

However, a surprise proposed new section of double yellow lines has been unveiled by the county council for the stretch of Baldock Way between Blinco Grove and Cavendish Avenue. ‘Surprise’ not because it was unexpected, but because it’s been announced so soon after the problem was identified. As many residents know, these things can ? and usually do ? take many years of requests to get implemented.

What appears to have happened is that there were new yellow lines going through the planning system for the Hills Road end of Cavendish Avenue, and the Baldock Way lines have been added to this plan. Here then is the proposal, which was provided to our county councillor Amanda Taylor this week (click to enlarge):

On Cavendish Avenue, the idea is to extend the double yellow lines a short way down the road from the existing ones, which only really cover the entrance to the road. This will allow safer entrance and exit to Lady Jane Court, which will also have double yellow lines down to its garages. There’s a mysterious gap opposite the entrance to 2/2a/2b, which councillor Taylor has offered to investigate. Halfway down this part of Cavendish Avenue is another short stretch of double yellow lines ? there’s no explanation, but we think it may be to ensure there’s always a ‘passing area’ when there are cars parked on both sides of the road.

Finally we get to Baldock Way, where there are to be double yellow lines on the west side all the way from Cavendish Avenue to Blinco Grove, and on the east side for part of the way. This was welcomed by residents and will I’m sure be welcomed by parents and staff at Morley School. The pavement parking on Baldock Way does not appear to be anything to do with the school, but is believed to be railway station commuters (despite it being a good 15-minute walk) and Hills Road Sixth Form College students.

Unfortunately this will not solve the problem in the southern sections of Baldock Way of parking on what were grass verges but are now becoming mud heaps. It will also not rid Cavendish Avenue of some new ‘ultra-long-term parking’, believed to be rarely-used second- or third-cars from houses in the Morley Area. One resident has reported having had the same car outside her house for three weeks.

It is unlikely that the county council will implement any remedies on the street. The whole city is steadily being consulted, area by area, on introducing Residents Parking Zones, with the eventual intention that – if residents want it – parking across the entire city will be for residents. Given that the Cavendish Avenue double yellow lines took over 10 years from the issue first being raised, any requests for more double yellow lines now probably wouldn’t happen before matters were overtaken by the introduction of a Residents Parking Zone. However, it would be nice to see something done to protect the Baldock Way grass verges from antisocial drivers.

10 Replies to “Surprise yellow lines on Baldock Way to join new ones on Cav Ave”

  1. A great idea. We could do with double yellow lines on Mowbray Road too. It may help the verges being damaged. 50% of the problem on Mowbray Road is a few residents driving over the verge to park in their drive way. Maybe if the council offered an incentive to residents to have their dropped kerb extended, then people wouldn?t have to drive over them. The Council enforcement team are not working! They cannot even stop council vans from parking on the verges.

    1. Hi Chris ? the law seems to be complicated, and I’m sometimes not even sure that council officers ? never mind councillors ? understand it. There needs to be a local by-law to specifically prevent cars parking on council owned grass verges, and although I believe that a double-yellow line technically applies to the verges and pavement the other side of it, as well as the roadway, there are plenty of people who seem to get away with parking on verges behind double-yellow lines. The law seems to differ around the country due to local traffic regulation orders too. I’d love to see a definitive article of what the situation is in this area.

      1. Hi Chris
        This is off the Cambridge council web site ; Will enforcement be carried out on double yellow lines, pavements and verges?
        Yes. If a scheme is introduced, the Council?s Civil Enforcement Officers will be able to issue penalty charge notices where vehicles are parked in contravention of any restrictions. As a general rule, parking restrictions apply to the full extent of the highway, including adjacent verges and footways, as well as the road itself.

  2. Best idea to do away with grass verges; they are now completely ignored and most are ruined. No-one obeys the bylaws these days. Either enforce strict new rules, – unlikely people who like ruining the verges would obey anyway, or remove the verges. At least the streets would look tidy.

  3. Parking restrictions cannot be implemented swiftly but take time to implement, partly because they have to go through a statutory legal process.

    The County Council offers parking restrictions as an option under its Local Highways Improvement Programme (LHI). The yellow lines proposals for Cavendish Avenue have come about as a result of a bid I put forward on behalf of Cavendish Avenue residents in 2016.

    Given the anti-social parking in Baldock Way, I asked if the scheme could be stretched, to try to address the problem more quickly (the next LHI bidding round is not till September.) While it does not cover the entire street, it should improve safety in the section nearest the school, and we can put in a bid for the rest of the street later this year. No block has been put on LHI bids for parking schemes in anticipation of pending residents’ parking consultations.

    One other option is a privately funded scheme, in which case we would not need to wait until September.

    The Queen Edith’s city councillors have also asked the City Council to assist, possibly with additional wooden posts for the grass verges.

    1. Thank you for that clarification Amanda, and apologies for (unintentionally) not crediting you with your input to getting the Baldock Way yellow lines proposed.

      1. A pleasure. I might add that I have urged the officers to make a contingency fund available for addressing displacement parking once residents’ parking schemes have gone in, as it’s ridiculous that we have to wait so long for problems to be addressed.

  4. Excellent news. The pavement parking on Baldock Way has annoyed me for years. I once asked a taxi driver why he was doing it – he must know it was illegal, and the answer boiled down to ‘because everyone else is’.

    Hopefully the proposed city-wide parking review will get off the ground at some point, so we can have a more sensible overall plan, setting overall resident and visiotr/commuter parking levels, rather than the extremely slow process of getting each area to agree to residents parking, block by block, with no overall planing at all.

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