Why do we need controlled parking zones in Haringey?
Reading on Haringey Website you will find the reasons are set as follows:
“Haringey is a borough with high pollution and areas suffering from excessive traffic congestion. As part of a London-wide transport strategy, Haringey is committed to reducing car use in the borough and so reduce pollution, accidents, and delays to buses.Controlled parking zones (CPZs) were first introduced in Haringey in 1994 to reduce traffic congestion, improve road safety and promote other forms of transport.”
However, this is not entirely true, is it? CPZs were first introduced to reserve residential parking for residents in areas close to busy high streets, or and major transportation hubs which attracts large number of shoppers and commuters from further a field . In other words CPZ where introduced to give parking priority to local residents over visitors.
The introduction of controlled parking zones into these areas did indeed help those living closest to those shopping and transportation hubs, but soon enough those who lived on the boundaries of those controlled parking zones were faced with the same parking nightmares their neighbours had before a CPZ was introduced. The rest is history…
You would think that living within a CPZ would makes all your parking problem disappear and sanity restored, but is this the case? To follow is a comment made by someone with experience, here is what that person had to say:
“I lived previously in the Finsbury park CPZ. Having lived with the CPZ for a number of years I have realised that it has actually hindered my life far more than it has helped. Far from being there to prevent parking on match days and drivers leaving cars to use the nearby tube station, it has actually gone far further and has become a hindrance to peoples liberty and a barrier to living in peace.
Many friends can no longer visit me without having to be paranoid about visitors vouchers at ANY time between 7AM and 7PM. So a friend staying over night must get up at the early hours simply to put a voucher in the car before 7am – a system that is quite frankly annoying and unnecessary.”
Once the CPZ were introduced, there was no going back. Local authorities including Haringey in this case, became dependent on the revenue this schemes bring in. What was once an attempt to solve a practical problem became a cash cow hard to let go of.
How those schemes grow and introduce to new areas? Haringey website explains further:
“The decision to go ahead with a controlled parking zone follows detailed consultation with residents and businesses whose views determine what roads are in the zone and how long the parking controls last. For a list of current CPZ consultations please see the page.”
mmm… If that was indeed the case, we would not have, or websites like this one. We encourage our readers to explore relevant CPZ press cuttings and pages outlining GreenN8 2006 and 2010 CPZ Campaign to make your own mind up if this is indeed the case.
The truth of the matter is there is a lot of money to be made from both the compliance and none compliance aspects of CPZs from the sale of parking permits to issuing parking tickets to those parking without a valid permit.
Before and After
A picture speaks a thousand words, so they say… watching the slide show below, we can clearly see what happened in the last 10 years or so. In the first slide areas marked light grey are existingCPZs introduced before 2006. On the second slide the darker grey areas represent CPZs introduced since 2006. And on the last slide as published on Haringey own website 2 . Expansion of CPZ in Haringey is a continuous process, for a list of current CPZ consultations please see the page
Yes, the picture is clear and the strategy to expand this cash cow is working (an issue we will get to a bit later on). Ask people if they want to pay for something they have for free and of course they’ll say NO WAY! However, introduce a small tiny CPZ, one near by, and soon enough you will get everyone gaging for one on their road. Yep, it certainly works like a dream…
Here it is directly from the horse’s mouth, Haringey writes to residents in Fortis Green summer 2010:
“Dear Resident or Trader,
In 2007 we introduced the Fortis Green CPZ. Since introducing the CPZ, we have received requests from your area to consider including them in the existing CPZ.
In line with our commitment to listen to the local community’s parking concerns, we are now proposing a small extension to include the roads listed below into the existing Fortis Green CPZ.”
The Fortis Green CPZ demonstrates the points we made earlier very well. The area in the map above is very close to Muswell Hill Broadway – a vibrate and busy shopping area for years, yet the call for the introduction of CPZ did not originate from the roads closer to the broadway, but rather from the 4 roads marked in blue which are situated at the boundary between Haringey and Barnet. (Barnet’s CPZ is marked in brown.) Once the Fortis Green CPZ was introduced in 2007 the streets within the red outline were effected and start demanding to be included as well.
Did Haringey learn anything since 2006
The short answer is – Yes they did. Timing of consultation is not just before a long holiday. This time it seems there is an honest attempt to reach the wider community. And there is a clear and honest approach when communicating what is planed for the near future; A good example of this is that although the CPZ charges are outlined on the consultation leaflets, we are also warned there are plans to change the cost of permits after a review which will be taking place in October this year.
According to Mr Reynolds, a former City of London transport official, “What councils can’t do is use parking control to raise revenue – that would be illegal. It has to be to do with managing traffic.” However Haringey seemed to ignore this fact when setting the the new CPZ cost – the CO2 emission based CPZ charges, shortly after their unsuccessful attempt to introduce the scheme in 2006. At the time Green N8 research showed that the level of charges will not only plug the hole of the transport budget to the tune of £500,000, but will create a hefty surplus. This prediction is proven to be correct as Haringey Parking Annual report clearly demonstrates!
(1) Updated Aug 2016 – the link to the X councillor no longer work – we keep it for reference
(2) At the time of updating this post Aug 2016