Breaking: Redbridge backs down over parking! (Kind of)

The white ring on the pavement marks a particularly pointless spot for a planned parking sign
The white ring on the pavement marks a particularly pointless spot for a planned parking sign

Redbridge Council has – sort of – backed down over its unconsulted parking plans which would have dramatically changed parking rules across Wanstead.

The council is reducing the area which will be subject to residents’ restrictions, and it now intends to do a consultation on the plans. The start of the scheme will be delayed for a month until March while this takes place.

Under the revised plans, pay and display restrictions will still apparently be introduced on the High Street, but residents’ restrictions will now not be introduced on roads south of Redbridge Lane West (Warren Road, St Mary’s Ave and Overton Drive and others). A statement published on the council website says: “Other roads such as Grove Park and The Avenue are now proposed to have a mixture of pay and display and residents’ permit spaces.”

No further detail is given, but the new plan will be delayed while consultation takes place. Cllr John Howard, responsible for the scheme, said: “We’ve come at this project with an open mind. We want to find a parking solution that is right for the area, that deals with the present and future pressures on parking spaces but also takes into account the needs of businesses, residents and shoppers. As part of our continued commitment to listen to our residents we will once again be writing to people in the affected area and making them aware of the changes.”

Opposition to the council’s scheme was mounting, with 2,281 people signing a petition demanding proper consultation take place.

Wansteadium readers have been at the forefront of tackling the process the council was using.

  • Reader ArrGee pointed out that the council was breaching its own parking strategy document which committed it to “provide a fair and consistent approach to the way we manage parking, while sustaining long term economic, social, and environmental well-being for everyone.”
  • Reader Fin highlighted that a House of Commons Briefing Note SN6013 said that traffic regulation orders “(whether temporary, experimental or permanent) are only to be used for single streets (not more widely)“.
  • Fin also pointed out that secretary of state guidance on the Right to Challenge Parking Policies states: “[P]arking strategies cannot simply be about restricting parking. They need to meet the best interests of road users, communities and businesses. Inappropriate parking rules, over-zealous enforcement and high parking charges drive people out of town centres, push up the cost of living, harm local shops and make it harder for people to park responsibly and go about their everyday lives.” It adds: “[L]ocal traffic authorities should consult as widely as is necessary to ensure that all of those affected by the orders have the opportunity to comment…by putting in place a petition scheme that allows people and businesses to raise petitions about the parking restrictions in place for a specified location”.

Some of these points were included in a motion tabled for discussion by the Conservative group at next week’s full council meeting which reads in part: “This Council further agrees to request Cabinet to ensure that all future parking schemes will involve full consultation as outlined in the Parking Strategy and that it will not in the future use the device of a ‘experimental scheme’ to circumvent the requirement for consultation with local residents.”

Leaders of the parking action group will now need to take stock over the revised proposals and see whether they meet their demands over consultation.

33 thoughts on “Breaking: Redbridge backs down over parking! (Kind of)”

    1. Now if only Redbridge Council had done that in the first place.

      Cllr Howard told the Recorder: “We have been listening to residents on this issue and they have given us some good comments on the original proposals.We have reflected on the feedback we received and made some substantial changes to the scheme.”

      He explained there would be another extensive round of consultation on the new proposals.

      “We will be writing to all residents and meet with local groups, business and employers in the area to make sure everyone’s view is heard,”

    1. Keep writing to Cllr John Howard and Cllr Jas Athwal and copy in Parking Schemes. Tell them what you believe is wrong with the scheme. Ask every question you can think of. Make suggestions to improve the scheme. That’s what I did.

      55 emails later, it seems a number of my suggestions were considered and adopted.

      And six minutes after the Ilford Recorder article was published , I received this…

      “Thank you for your comments regarding the above proposed scheme.
      Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.
      I can confirm that your comments and concerns have been noted and will be included in any report on the future of the scheme.”

      FROM The Shawshank Redemption –

      So Andy started writing a letter a week, just like he said, and just like the Warden said, Andy got no answers. Andy kept sending those letters…until one day a shipment arrived.

      Dear Mr. Dufrane,
      In response to your repeated inquiries the state has allocated the enclosed funds for your library project. ‘this is $200!’ In addition, the library district has generously responded with a generous donation of used books and sundries.

      We consider this matter closed. Please stop sending us letters.

      “Good for you Andy” –Guard
      “It only took six years, from now on I’ll write two letters a week.” – Andy @jhoward87 @jas_athwal

  1. The old Divide and Rule tactic?
    Split the opposition to the parking restrictions. Implement one part of it this year, after token consultation. When that is in place,revisit the areas that have now been removed from the proposal. Or am I being too cynical?

  2. Probably not but short term good news for us in Warren Road. The issue of the restrictions around the High Street is still a concern. Labour party has a consultation meeting also this Friday about Green spaces or the like – a bit of an unfortunate clash with the Hermon Hill meeting – or perhaps I am being cynical?

  3. Feels to me like a delay, say you’ve consulted, take the wind out of everyone’s sails as opposition was building….Then do it anyway. I hope I’m wrong.

  4. Classic.
    Make proposals that are way OTT.
    Back off a bit, claim you are listening, and the opposition has won.
    Meanwhile you get what you wanted in the first place with no fuss.
    This administration is learning fast – from the last one.

  5. Appears to me that the people with the petition have won and also pulled the wool over our eyes..

    Their argument was that the ‘High Street’ would suffer if pay and display was introduced.. however we all know it was that they did not want to pay the £45 a year to park outside their house like some of us already do.

    However I think this is the best solution. Now people won’t park on the high street but on the streets with no restrictions. Genius move by the council and the activists have been found out!

    1. Indeed. Many want better restrictions on the high street. Some don;t but the tend to include people from outside Wanstead or the business staff, neither of which suffer from the issue, they’re just upset they can no longer park for free.

      However, we are now in an area that will not have permits meaning we will be the new dumping ground. Some prefer this to able to park for free. Time will tell if the problem needs fixing and the area for permits does need to be increased.

    2. For some the issue is the high street, for some the residents parking, for some it is both. Redbridge Council mixed the two up, and presented a “solution” that was not acceptable to a number of people. The zone created would have been the largest in Redbridge.

      I don’t want to pay £45/year plus to park outside my house, but then I don’t need to as I can park on my drive.

      I suspect that there will be some commuters/shoppers who park on the streets with no restrictions. Unless the whole of London is turned into a permit parking zone, that will happen anyway.

      The high street may need the 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday restrictions (maybe Sunday as well), but charging £2.90 for two hours to park on or off the High Street is excessive. Also it should be possible to park free for 30 minutes without supplying name, address and credit card details. Also care needs to be taken to only mix residents and pay & display only on streets where there is a lot of off street parking.

      I don’t think this latest proposal is the solution. It is a step towards one.

  6. Well Well Well…

    Are the campaigners happy? I must say that I am.
    I already pay for parking outside my house and for visitors to my house, this is why I was all for the change – One Wanstead!

    However.. The campaigners, each time they stopped me, explicitly said it was NOTHING to do with permits in residential areas but that they were trying to prevent Pay & Display on the decaying High Street in order to stop the rot.

    Now however I am hearing victory cries of ‘We won!’ which further cements what I had already worked out.. The Campaigners were not opposing the Pay & Display on the High Street but in fact using it as an excuse to stop charges to them. This and the £50 a year for collection of green waste means they will be a whole £100 a year worse off! (Ooops, did not mean to stir up the green issue just yet).

    Give it 6 months of Business folk and Commuters/Shoppers avoiding the High Street and parking down these streets and I guarantee you will be calling for change.

    Earlier on in this whole mess I did state that we are one Wanstead. We either ALL pay or we all DON’T pay. So, Pay & Display on the High Street is good! As for residents parking, make it free but still charge for visitors permits.

    It is funny how we want to be green one week (reduce vehicles, we do not want a pool because of the pollution of visitors!) and then the next we wan’t to be able to park our cars anywhere at anytime because we rely on them to pop around the corner to get some milk.

    I would love one of the campaigners to be straight with us here. Stop using the High Street as an excuse to protest against paying to park outside your home. If we all got together then we could come up with a much better solution.

    Fighting against the council leaders that you voted in is not the answer here. If they bend over on this then what is next.. You will not always get it your way.

  7. “Give it 6 months of Business folk and Commuters/Shoppers avoiding the High Street and parking down these streets and I guarantee you will be calling for change.”

    Unlikely. We get a lot of golfers parking at the weekend and it doesn’t bother us. Most people in the area where the restrictions are to be removed have drives. Right now, some move cars off the drives at the weekend to stop anyone else parking outside their house. Likely to be more of that. A 9.30am-10.30am restriction on the kerbs with no houses would take care of most parking issues.

    “As for residents parking, make it free but still charge for visitors permits.”

    I agree. Newham have first car free, second car £100/annum, additional car £200/annum. Fine by me.

    “If we all got together then we could come up with a much better solution.”

    I agree. If only the council had consulted with residents.

    “Fighting against the council leaders that you voted in is not the answer here.”

    They weren’t voted for in Wanstead/Snaresbrook. Cllr John Howard lives in Snaresbrook, but knowing he would not be elected there stood in Aldborough.

    1. I am not sure that the “climb down” is any more democratic than the initial proposal. I see that Wansteadium in its editorial and others have much to say about Overton Drive and Warren Road and that these roads should be excluded from parking restrictions. I and my immediate neighbours in Overton Drive do not have drives – we prefer to retain our front gardens. Whilst commuter parking is not a huge issue at the moment we are often unable to park in front of our houses because of commuter parking etc. There is a widespread misconception being promoted that Overton Drive and Warren Road are too far from Wanstead Tube Station yet we are a 5 minute walk from the station and we do have, albeit currently limited, commuter parking. More to the point is that if additional restrictions are placed on those roads closer to the station, High Street etc., the parking will migrate to other roads etc. I suspect this was the very reason that the council included most roads in the area.
      Not all parking is commuter parking. By way of example, two commercial vehicles (with Newham Resident’s parking permits!) have been parked on Seagry Road since the beginning of December 2016 and have not moved since. ICANHIRE park and rent out their rental vans from Wanstead residential streets – most visibly being their van parked dangerously close to the junction of Langley Drive and St. Mary’s.
      A very good and real example is the migration of upwards of 70-80 vehicles which now park on Centre Road (Redbridge!) after the introduction of residents’ parking permits in Forest Gate, Newham.
      Perhaps readers should also be aware that after the last road consultation carried out by LB Redbridge in 2003 in which 73% of the respondents (50% of those approached) expressed a preference for 2 of the 3 schemes offered Redbridge ultimately introduced a 4th scheme which was diametrically opposed to the majority’s expressed preferences.
      I think it wrong and undemocratic that the council has not consulted on this issue. Similarly, I think it wrong that the plans have apparently now been altered (in a way that will adversely affect the residents of the roads now excluded from the scheme) presumably at the behest of those of some influence.

  8. I have a radical solution to the whole parking situation in the greater Wanstead area. It is clear that something needs to be done about the high street. On the many times when I have wanted to pop into Tesco or whatever and been in my jallopy, there have been no spaces to park. Cars seemingly stay there all day.

    However, on the wider issue of parking let’s think outside the box. Why not create more parking spaces? In Grosvenor Road where I live, there could be room for another 40 cars at least without impinging on anyone’s property. Get rid of the yellow lines and let commuters and anyone else park.

    Imagine all the miles of yellow no parking lines that could disappear! There’d be room for all with fewer grumbles and it would cost a tiny fraction of the once-intended council’s scheme.

    Who is with me?


    1. Sadly that’s a bit like the fallacy of building more roads to ease congestion. All that happens is that more people use them.

      No matter how many spaces you make available, more people will drive and use them. The problem that needs resolving is too many people driving to the high street. We have 2 tube stations, a number of bus routes, pavements and cycle racks. The worst part oft he high street is badly parked and badly driven cars. There are plenty of alternatives. Those that insist on driving should, and now will, have to pay for the privilege. Driving there should, and will be, discouraged.

      If anything, the number of spaces should be reduced but restricting it is a good start.

    2. “Get rid of the yellow lines and let commuters and anyone else park.” – It’s an interesting idea.
      It used to be possible to park on both sides of Wanstead High Street when I first moved here nearly 20 years ago as there was only a single yellow on the Christchurch Green side. And it should be possible to remove the double yellow lines (or at least make them single yellow) on much of Cambridge Park which since the A12 arrived are not really needed. Removing these would help the likes of Chestnut Drive at school pick up/drop off time and other roads off Cambridge Park at other times.
      The only issue with this is that would it attract more commuters from park where you like sites and the spaces would quickly disappear.

    3. Terence you are the first person with common sense. We are a motor led society let’s embrace it (electric cars will help the green issue eventually) but make all parking in bays so people do not park inconsideratly taking up two spaces. Just go round the “permit” streets between 9 and 5 and see the hundreds of parking spaces that are available, perhaps have permits overnight say 5pm to 9am to allow residents to park close when they get home

  9. Call me what you wish but i am fully supportive of the introduction of the proposals throughout Wanstead proposed by Redbridge council. The team who were at the library on that saturday morning spent 20 minutes going over in great depth the proposals and i congratulate them on being truthful and diligent in our discussions.
    THe high street is nose to tail cars every day during the peak hours and highly dangerous due to parked cars and at times double parking which affects us all.
    The cost of £45.00 per year is cheap and many areas of london are far more expensive. I park on the road as i do not want to dig up my small garden to put tarmac down for the car to be taken off the street . I for one will be first in line to get a permit and will gladly pay the charge of £45.00 as a resident of Wanstead.
    Councilor Howard i am backing you 100% in this matter and hope your new consultation will be short and the result allow the council to full implementation of the parking meters, residents parking permits and reduce the commuters parking in our areas.

    1. I agree. I am now out of the permit zone. If, as I suspect, parking becomes worse as we become the dumping ground (which we already are but it’s just about tolerable) I will be using any consultation or feedback to strongly request we join the permit zone.

    2. I thoroughly agree with everything that Brian says. The first person to talk sense. Roads where I live do not have large enough gardens to dig up for parked cars and are daily filled with long-term non-residents parking. It’s difficult, sometimes impossible, for tradesmen to park, and for me to manage heavy shopping (road not wide enough to double park). I would willingly pay £45 a year or 12p a day to have residents’ parking.

  10. What about having two periods of no parking in the High Street – 9.30 to 10.30 and maybe 2.30 to 3.30 (or any other time deemed suitable or appropriate)? That way the shops would not suffer.

  11. It is unfortunate that some commentators here seem to see this as a ‘victory’ for NIMBYism in the roads that were to come under the extended RPZ. What I do think is the case is the tactic of the council going in heavy-handed, calling a pause and making it feel like there has been some kind of concession and dividing the community.
    It is equally unfortunate that the council chose not to consult properly in the first place over an issue it knows is controversial. If it had properly identified the problems, shared properly solutions and allowed us to comment it might have been possible to come to some solution that at least most of us would have accepted.
    I suspect now whatever we end up with will be a bugger’s muddle that may solve some parking problems somewhere but cause problems elsewhere in the neighbourhood as none of this seems to have been thought through.
    And what of the poles erected and no longer need? Scrap metal or saved for a future date?

  12. We have a very good system of one hour parking restrictions that keep the commuters out and keep the community vibrant. This works. Other areas where councils have introduced parking restrictions are now desolate.
    Why have they decided to only partly consult and go ahead with part of their plans in opposition to the local community?

  13. quite obviously parking restrictions need to be appropriate to the local circumstances; what may suit the high street and nearby roads is most probably not appropriate further out. this climb down is a victory for common sense.

    a big thank you to the opposition councillors (organising tonights meeting), donna mizzi and wansteadium. im certain the town hall tin pot dictators would have enforced their 5 year plan if it were not for this excellent forum which we are very lucky to have.

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