'Flawed' parking scheme in Harpenden scrapped

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 October 2016

Salisbury Avenue

Salisbury Avenue

Archant

A parking scheme which was criticised as a flawed and ill thought-out solution to commuter parking problems is not going ahead.

District councillors have agreed to scrap the proposed controlled parking zone (cpz) scheme for the Avenues area of Harpenden which went out for consultation in February.

To stop all-day parking in residential streets, the scheme proposed that sections of the roads would be restricted to permit holders during certain times of the day.

It was intended to allow space for residents and visitors to park near their homes with some room designated for business use.

But it would have meant residents having to pay for permits while, at the same time pushing the problem of commuter parking further out. Employees of Waitrose in the town drew up a petition objecting to the scheme because of the cost of paying for parking in Harpenden.

The then Harpenden West ward councillor, Michael Weaver, also described the scheme as flawed and a piecemeal approach which would clear up one area and spread the problem to another.

Since the proposal was first mooted, parking has worsened in the Avenues area with cars being left on bends and extending further up Salisbury Avenue.

The decision not to proceed was taken by the council’s car parking working group after it emerged that less than 60 per cent of those who responded to the consultation were not in favour of it.

The only road where it might proceed is Old Rectory Close, a cul-de-sac just off the Luton Road.

A longer-term solution to the parking issues has been put forward by Patrick Powers, one of the critics of the cpz scheme, based on the introduction of a by-law in Lincolnshire which has Home Office backing.

He suggests a by-law declaring the whole town of Harpenden as an area where no on-street commuter or Luton Airport parking is permitted with ‘policing’ triggered by any resident who has been inconvenienced by inconsiderate parking or believes that a parked vehicle has been there all day.

The scheme would be defined by notices throughout the town and a penalty would be imposed on those breaching the by-law but not those parking legitimately,

Patrick said: “The proposed system has the additional advantage that small, isolated and non-troubling parking might not even need to be reported. There would be nk problems with derogation orders, no restrictions on the numbers of persons visiting any house in Harpenden, no problems with children of families growing up to own their own car and not be able to park and there would be no displacement parking pushed further away from designated bays as well happen with the recently proposed system.”

* The working group also discussed proposals for additional parking in Harpenden with chairman, Cllr Beric Read, saying that he was hoping Rothamsted could be used on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas.

Additional parking with 100-plus spaces will also need to be tackled when the new sports centre in Harpenden opens and a couple of options are under consideration.

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