CA-D 24/7: Not over yet?

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A letter from Cllr Julian Fulbrook:

I am mystified as to why we have a demarcation line in this ward: 24/7 control of residents' parking bays in Covent Garden, and then this bizarre free-for-all in residents' bays in the rest of the ward, near enough to the West End to become a free parking lot particularly at weekends and in the evenings.

Despite very sizeable attendance at our Area Action Groups - regularly the largest in the Borough - and a sizeable correspondence all in favour of 24/7 control right across Holborn and Covent Garden ward we allegedly keep coming up against a survey which says there is no support for 24/7control!

With respect, there must be something wrong with the polling arrangements or something wrong with the sample of the population the survey is sent to.

Discounting any resident from King's Cross ward (also in C-AD) is obviously sensible but allegedly makes no difference...  I find that extremely difficult to believe. In passing, it does seem daft that you can have an 'internal commute' of up to a mile - I live one mile from Camden Town Hall - and can still park as a 'resident'. Personally I would not dream of driving in to the Town Hall. You may have noticed the recent comments of Professor Ashton suggesting local councils ban schoolchildren being driven to the school gates..... On health grounds alone we should seek to minimise the internal commuting across the Borough of people who should be walking for the good of their health, and having a large C-AD is not helpful.

The residents of our ward who have a parking permit are inevitably all essential car users, as we have an incredibly superior transport network to the world right at our doorstep. If they pay for a residents' permit they should be able to park in a residents' bay. It is a matter of simple justice that those bays should NOT be used by commuters who are now unable to park directly in the West End because of the severe gridlock, pollution, and noise nuisance they caused there - and yet Camden considers it perfectly acceptable that they come to the adjacent streets here in Holborn and cause the same detrimental aftermath, coupled too with the taxis they use in the early hours of the morning circling around to find the car they have parked here to take them home to the suburbs!

In another capacity I recently spoke with someone who regularly drives into Conway Hall, although this is less than a minute away from Holborn tube station with connecting tube lines to all points of the compass, and in particular directly to his home in Epping. He told me in passing that he was very pleased his view had prevailed in 'the vote', and that he could still drive in here. You could imagine I had a fairly robust conversation with him, as no-one in his family has a disability. When tackled on the sustainability issues and serious nuisance people of his ilk cause to local residents here in Red Lion Square his lame explanation was that his car travel was for 'convenience' and because it was 'cheaper'.

I would very much like to know how on earth he was able to vote in a Residents' Survey. How watertight was this poll?  Can we please take up the suggestion of Gillian Mosely of having another meeting to discuss this?

If the survey was flawed, as the anecdotal evidence seems to suggest, then we should do it properly and confine it just to genuine bona fine residents in Holborn and Covent Garden ward.

I have repeatedly suggested a simple solution here: expand the 24/7 control in Covent Garden and Lincoln's Inn Fields in our ward right across the whole ward.

But there may also be other avenues here. I for one would be very keen to ask neighbours to assist in placing a Council approved notice on the windscreens of all offending commuter cars parked in residents's bays suggesting in appropriately polite terms that they consider using public transport for their journeys into Central London in consideration of the damage they cause, particularly by noise nuisance and pollution.

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