What does SAPC think about the Council's Parking Scheme design?

What's in the Council's Design Proposal?

They've built it.  You can see it around you. What do you think of Zone 10?

 

What does the SAPC think?

On 20 July 2020, the SAPC Committee met to consider the proposals and we had a number of questions that we felt we should raise with the Council.  These are as follows:

  • The scheme controlled hours are from 9–10am and 2–3pm.  SAPC asked whether the Council had modelled parking demand in our area and was clear that these hours offer us the best prospect of limiting demand for all-day commuter, tourist and overnight and long-term parking? Might different hours be a better bet? In relation to this issue, the November 24 2020 ETS decision has made clear that the hours will be as originally proposed.

  • The scheme proposes to maintain staggered parking bays on Surrenden Road, with some bays adjacent to the central reservation.  When these bays were initially introduced, they were justified as a traffic calming measure. The SAPC remains concerned that these bays created a dangerous visual obstruction for hundreds of school children crossing this busy road. They created a chicane that poses a traffic hazard for buses and emergency vehicles. With less vehicle storage and commuter parking in the area due to the scheme, we are asking the Council, do these dangerous bays need to stay? The Council has not changed the principle of the design here, but minor adjustments to improve running lane geometries for buses have been made.

  • Varndean College students and staff are a significant source of local parking demand.  Just before the Coronavirus lockdown, the Council was considering a Green Travel Plan for the college, aiming to reduce the demand for car trips. What has happened to this proposal and has the parking scheme design taken it into account? We're still not sure...

  • Is the scheme future proofed by addressing rising demand for electric vehicle (EV) charging points? The consultation proposal showed no more than two or three EV bays throughout.  The final constructed scheme completely 'ducked' the opportunity to set aside marked space for EV charging.  This was a lost opportunity in our view.

  • The scheme proposed to reserve bus stop clearway areas in the Friars, but the bus route has ceased. More spaces could be available, unless the route is proposed to be reinstated. Our current understanding is that the route is to return and so the reservation of space makes sense.

  • An area of informal 90 degree parking spaces has been created on the verge at the bottom of Varndean Road verge. The scheme proposes a return to parallel parking in this location? Does this adequately address local demand? Whilst there does not appear to be a particular problem with shortages of bay space post implementation, a fair few cars are still being parked informally on the verge.

  • A significant number of residents have concerns about whether they would be allowed to park on their crossovers.  The Council has made clear that they can't.

  • A number of houses have garages that are too small, have a restricted turning area making them inaccessible for a modern car or are shared with a neighbour. We want the Council to clarify that where a garage is inaccessible, effectively un-usable or does not provide a guaranteed parking space, householders will be eligible for a residents parking permit in the first round. The Council has still not fully addressed this issue.

  • The scheme does not propose a solution to the effect on residents of people parking to use Preston Park.

But were these the right issues? 

We asked you to tell the SAPC what you thought we should be saying to the Council by 5 August 2020.  Over 100 people responded. We used the detailed information that you provided to frame the recommendations that we have now sent to the Council. You can see our report here.

 

We know that many people are particularly concerned that they will not be able to apply for a parking permit straight away because they have an older or shared drive or garage, designed in the 1920s or 1930s, that cannot possibly accommodate a modern car off street.  This issue really needs to be cleared up.  We have prepared a draft policy that we say should apply to all older drives and garages that do not meet minimum standards of accessibility. Where this is the case, we say that residents should get a permit in the first round of any scheme.