Residents 'may be forced to pay for parking permit' even if their street votes no
PUBLISHED: 16:22 16 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:22 16 May 2013
New measures taken by Hackney Council mean that residents may have to pay to park on their street even if the majority vote against charges being imposed.
Town hall bosses have passed a policy which will result in parking restrictions being voted for on a street-by-street basis rather than all residents in an area as a whole being balloted – as had previously been the case.
But the council has drawn up new boundaries for potential controlled parking zones (CPZs) and if the majority of streets within the area vote in favour pf charging, then even the roads which are against it will be swallowed up in the new zone.
Residents would then have to fork out £109 per year for a parking permit or pay to park between 7am and 7pm.
Any street can request a vote for a CPZ.
Opponents have accused the council of changing the rules to make it easier to push through CPZs after failing in their efforts to impose a payment system in the Rectory Road area of Stoke Newington earlier this year, due to mistakes made in the process.
Campaigner Garry Malcolm, of Maury Road, said: “These adjustments will see our public roads moving swiftly into the hands of the wealthy and this cannot be right.
“The consequences of gentrification can be better managed than this. According to the borough census we have many working families and some have cars.
“Many have multiple jobs because local pay is low and housing and living costs are escalating.
“This transport tool allows them to have a better family life as they run between work and school pick-ups. Pricing this away from them will see many working families moved closer to poverty or experience an overall decline in their family’s general emotional wellbeing.”
A new consultation is now set to open in the Rectory Road area following the change in policy.
Paul Sinclair, of Norcott Road, who was involved in the previous campaign to challenge a CPZ there, said: “My understanding is that they are changing all the rules they broke last time and re-running the consultation so it goes ahead this time.
“The council has not been transparent. They are sweeping it under the carpet and have not held anyone to account.
“I’ve never seen a council so committed to helping a small minority in an area and annoying the majority.”
Cllr Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “The council does not introduce parking controls unless the majority of residents affected support the scheme; in cases where streets or parts of streets have a clear opposition to the introduction of parking zones, we may exempt them from the zone.
“Legislation is clear that we are not able to simply bring in parking zones as a means of making money.”