Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Residents Car Parking launches in Regent Street, Dallas Road area

New residents’ parking schemes came into force in the Dallas Road, Regent Street and Brook Street areas of Lancaster area today (1st February), leaving previously clogged up streets clear of cars.

"Regent Street is almost totally empty," one resident told virtual-lancaster. "It's weird and very quiet."

The Council introduced the scheme after numerous problems caused by commuter parking, which included, on one occasion, a fire engine crew having to 'bump' cars to respond to an emergency call.

Schemes are being brought in at the following streets: Blades Street, Dallas Road (part), Ushers Meadow, Villas Court, Wheatfield Street (Zone F); Aldcliffe Road, Lindow Street, Dallas Road (part), Portland Street, Lindow Square, Regent Street (Zone H); and Aldcliffe Road, Cromwell Road, Brook Street, Regent Street, Carr House Lane (Zone I).

The schemes are a partnership between Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council and mean that only residents with a valid permit, and their visitors, will be eligible to park in the areas.

Permit holders from zones F, H and I can also park free of charge in Dallas Road car park before 8am and after 4pm Monday to Friday, before 10am and after 4pm on Saturdays and all day Sunday.

“The city council has received reports from residents living in these areas that they were experiencing difficulties in parking their vehicles close to their homes due to commuters and shoppers parking there for long periods over a number of years,” commented Coun Stuart Langhorn, leader of Lancaster City Council.

The restrictions met with much opposition during the planning stages but, quick to adjust to the new restrictions, we understand many commuters are now parking on the free stretch of Aldcliffe Road alongside the canal after Haverbreaks Bridge.

• More information on residents’ parking schemes in the Lancaster district can be found at www.lancaster.gov.uk/parking.


Anonymous said...

I remember that fire like it was yesterday. The whole neighbourhood was out at 3am, four to a car, all the way down the street, bouncing them out of the way so the fire engines could get through.

The house was an inferno with flames gushing up into the sky. Three people were eventually carried out from the top floor by firemen. It was the bravest thing I ever saw in all my life.

If there had been a fire last week it would've been exactly the same story. It's a lot safer now. And we can finally get deliveries. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

"Regent Street is almost totally empty," one resident told virtual-lancaster. "It's weird and very quiet."

Not sure who that was. As a resident of Regent street I can tell you that the parking spaces are just about adequate for the resident's vehicles at present, and the number of such vehicles will surely increase over time. "Almost totally empty" is very far from the truth.

Anonymous said...

You're right (it was I). It was just for the first few hours while people worked out what was what. I've not had any problem finding parking in Regent street, though. Portland St does look packed out.
But even at the worst of times, at least one can pull over on the other side now just to load and unload goods and people who can't walk far without blocking off the whole street, as can waiting taxis etc.
It's a bit early to judge it all yet though. There are probably quite a few permits still to be issued.
I don't know why there are so many separate zones all next to each other. Why can't they all just be one? There would be fewer 'outcasts' lining the canal in the free parking out beyond Haverbreaks bridge.
btw, I had a chat with a traffic warden who told me they were just issuing warnings for the first week ('or so') to cars without permits in residents spaces. Cars on the yellow lines without parking badges, and cars blocking the thoroughfare, will be fined.

Bryan Sadler said...

Yes it's great for residents. But this area provided some 300+ parking spots for City centre workers and and shoppers. Its effect on local shops was immediate, the footfall has fallen dramatically and the Market fishmonger alone reports a 50% fall in trade. Throw in Tesco Express and local traders with their local supply chains will be forced to throw in the towel. Thank you Greens. Strange they should support the confiscation of public highway by the County so that it can be rented out as garaging for a privileged minority and the destruction of the small traders they purport to support. Far out, Bryan Sadler

Jon Barry said...

But Bryan, you were one of the people who said that the whole thing couldn't work in Regent Street and Portland Street. Well it does seem to be working. Clearly, there are improvements that could be made to aspects of the scheme and we will be consulting local residents about these in the next few weeks - and then trying to get the County Council to introduce them. In terms of the local traders, I'm afraid i simply don't believe the figures you give. In terms of the market, i know that the big majority of users come by bus or foot - so these would be unaffected by residents parking.

Anonymous said...

Privileged minority? Did I just get bumped up a class or two? So privileged I couldn't have a delivery, a fire engine or an ambulance if I needed one. I couldn't bring in my shopping or unload elderly passengers in the daytime. When the elderly people paid for an hour of care, they got half an hour, with half an hour spent parking and walking.

If people cared about keeping their parking rights, they should have parked straight and not blocked the road, and not kept kicking people's bollards out of the way when they were trying to make room for service vehicles.

I don't miss the guy who ran his car into me when I was trying to keep a space for the van bringing my mum's possessions, to move in with me. He explained to me all about his rights. How can you share with people if they keep locking you out?

You can't dump a city's economic problems onto two streets and not even let them have workmen in to repair their homes when they needed it.

It's time to stop fighting like cats and dogs over parking spaces and start fighting for affordable, rational public transport.

John Freeman said...

Councillor John Whitelegg contacted us to make the following general comments about Residents Parking.

"Residents Parking is always discussed and implemented after lots of discussion with local residents and in some cases (e.g. in my ward) is not implemented because of local opposition," he explains. "RP is routinely adopted in the vast majority of urban areas in the UK because of the damage and misery caused by hundreds of cars parking on residential streets, driving around looking for parking, denying local people the chance of parking and lowering the attractiveness and quality of life of city centres areas as residential areas.

"It is really important that our city centre residential areas are as pleasant as possible and attractive for young families with children." he adds, "and do not have the feel of living in the middle of a car park.

"Lancaster city centre is very well connected to public transport and cycle routes and for many car-based trips there are alternatives that can be used.

"It is part of the sustainable transport agenda everywhere that we should try and reduce car use for the journey to work and this principle has been supported by all political parties since the mid-1990s.

"Providing free car parking on residential streets near to city centres does not contribute to reducing car use and green councillors have worked their socks off over many years to improve public transport and cycling offers as a positives contribution to this objective.

"The Green Party has worked very hard to support local retailing and that is why we are the only party opposing the Centros development. Centros will provide additional retail space equivalent to 50% of the total retail space in the existing city centre and stands a very good chance of wiping out many retailers. We have mounted similar argument against new supermarket developments and we have taken the lead on supporting the indoor market because we think that lots of small businesses in a traditional market providing high quality retail offers is the right thing for Lancaster.

"There is no evidence at all that a Residents Parking scheme could damage retailing," John states. "The decline in retail spend is almost certainly linked to recession and fear of job loss and to the aggressive behaviour of supermarkets with their predatory pricing regimes and well resourced advertising.

"The New Economics Foundation in London has documented the decline of small retailing as a function of supermarket domination of retailing and Mr Sadler should read "Tescopoly" by Andrew Simms. In this book Simms gives an evidence based and convincing explanation of 'how supermarkets are draining the life from our town centres and unpicking the fabric of our communities'(exact quotation)."

Unknown said...

I hate this scheme, i live in a house that individually lets TWELVE rooms, and yet the council has only allotted us one permit, that another girl has taken. now i cannot find anywhere i can afford to park my car for the next few years, its ridiculous as i need my car to get to work and therefore pay my rent and amenities. through this scheme i am almost being forced to move out of my house or quit my job ! One permit is not adequate for twelve adult individuals. i do not think that 2 permits is too much to ask in this situation. ridiculous - i am appalled.