UPDATE: The Lambeth Parking Study has been underway since summer 2015 and is now ahead of schedule, with good progress made on improving the parking situation for many Lambeth residents who are currently most affected by parking stress.
The study’s work programme has been shaped by feedback from both residents and local ward councillors who have been influential in deciding the priority areas.
The first phase of the Parking Study, focusing on the non-Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) areas of Vassall / Coldharbour and the southern part of Brixton Hill, has now been completed.
Proposed CPZs for both areas have been designed and costed by engineers and an application for funding is now underway. If the funding is approved, it should be in place by late summer and we plan to consult with all residents in the affected areas in September; the outcome of that consultation will help inform the decision on whether to proceed or not.
The second phase of the study is now underway, focusing on a review of the parking situation in existing CPZs and many of the non-CPZ areas in the borough. Officers are due to report back on the findings in November.
Lambeth Parking Study - background
Lambeth Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) were introduced area by area many years ago with each CPZ having its own operational times. Since their introduction, the borough has undergone and continues to undergo significant regeneration impacting on parking stress in the borough.
The volume of communications from local residents and businesses requesting a review of existing CPZs has been increasing over the last two years. In addition, many residents outside existing control zones have vigorously campaigned for parking controls in their area.
Our study aims to analyse existing on street parking demands in the borough. It will review existing CPZs to determine whether current operational controls still meet the needs of the local community. It will also survey the areas without CPZs to determine whether additional controls on parking are required.
Our parking study will take a comprehensive and holistic look at Lambeth's network, its existing CPZ infrastructure as well as current and future development and regeneration programmes - here and in neighbouring boroughs - and build an understanding of known and potential parking pressures. This process is far more complex than a superficial look at the borough's roads.
This project will offer the information and intelligence necessary to design and implement the parking infrastructure that best meets the needs of this borough. It will take time, cost money and undoubtedly encounter unforeseen challenges along the way - but it will deliver real value for everyone that lives, works and travels in Lambeth.
Key Council objectives
- The Council needs to address parking issues across the borough both within and outside CPZs as a number of representations have been made over many years
- The council has a legal obligation to review an existing CPZ to ensure it is legally enforceable
- We need to reduce PCN disputes and review our parking policy to meet local needs
- The study will consider Lambeth’s sustainability objectives to ensure that the borough is a clean, safe, accessible, economically vibrant and healthy place.
What is Lambeth doing about parking in the borough?
We are planning to conduct a wide ranging study of all areas that have reported high levels of parking stress and the 25 CPZs currently in operation throughout the borough. The study will involve a detailed look at parking options, bays, CPZs and parking stress across the borough with the ultimate aim of establishing an up-to-date parking database with the information used to guide what changes may be needed, realistic demand for new CPZs, potential timelines and costs. We will work with ward councillors in every area of the borough and seek their views on local parking needs as well as collecting detailed information on parking stress.
The review of the existing 25 CPZ schemes which cover around half of the borough will enable the council to collect on-street data on parking schemes and find out if they meet current design guidelines, council policy and legal obligations. This work is overdue and essential in not only meeting our legal requirements but to accurately inform any future decisions on parking control, using our limited resources more effectively and avoiding a confusing and piecemeal approach to parking controls.
Why are you doing this study now?
As we have not undertaken a wide scale parking study for some years, the council must review current CPZs to ensure it meets its legal responsibility.
Furthermore, the council has had a number of requests over many years from people both within and outside of CPZ schemes requesting changes to parking restrictions in their area. Therefore this is an opportunity to look closely at all options available and gather evidence to further inform any future decisions and ensure that our limited resources are used effectively.
The borough has changed a lot in recent years and we will take into account the many new developments which are placing further demands on parking. The study will also review changes in local demographics such as the rising population and falling car ownership. We are expecting more development across the borough in the immediate future, which will place increasing demands on our roads.
The introduction of the 24-hour tube and the growth in the night time economy will also affect parking stress and planned and ongoing highways project throughout the borough will also have an impact on road use. These changes are why we need to get our parking controls right, and will be taken into account during the study.
The information collected will update council databases and should be a useful resource for road users in understanding the parking options and restrictions across Lambeth.
What are the next steps and how long will the process last?
A project manager started work in May 2015. His first task was to develop a detailed programme for the study following feedback from ward councillors in June, and plan timescales and recruit specialist staff to carry out the work. This has taken some time but the team has now been put together and will begin work on the street in late November.
- The first phase of the study will focus on the non CPZ area of Vassall / Coldharbour and the surrounding CPZs including Waterloo, Kennington, Stockwell, Brixton (part) and Camberwell. It will run from March 2016 and report back in July 2016
- The second phase of the study will have a particular focus on roads south of the existing Brixton CPZ in Brixton Hill and those within the vicinity of key transport hubs in the remainder of the borough as well as the CPZ areas of Clapham, Thornton, Brixton (part), Poets Corner, Herne Hill and Tulse Hill. It will run from May 2016.
- The third phase of the study will be to undertake a full survey and digitize all of the existing CPZ infrastructure with a view to update or revise as necessary to make it fit for purpose and developing it for future purposes. It will run from July 2016.
During the initial three phases an appointed consultant will be undertaking parking surveys to ascertain parking pressures borough wide. The results of these surveys will feed into the revisions of existing CPZ and design of the proposed areas in phases 1 to 3 with a view to submitting findings by November 2016.
Will residents be able to contribute their views in the study?
The study is essentially a technical exercise and about gathering data, rather than a qualitative consultation on parking stress. however, we already know from ward councillors and residents which areas are experiencing severe stress and this existing feedback has been taken into account.
If any CPZs are proposed following the review a full consultation will take place with residents in that area before any implementation. Ward councillors will also welcome any feedback regarding parking and will be conducting informal surveys to gauge any demand for parking controls in their areas to help further inform any future decisions.
Will the parking study mean new CPZs?
The implementation of any new CPZ is a separate piece of work and requires consultation with residents.
The parking study will provide a borough-wide overview of where parking stress is most acute in Lambeth and the current parking situation in all areas of the borough, which will provide a strong evidence base to prioritise resources and take decisions on any new CPZs. It will also help speed up the design stage of any new CPZ and, once funding has been allocated, enable us to implement any CPZ much more quickly.
While certain streets may be lobbying for a CPZ, parking stress may be a problem for a much wider area, or could be displaced to surrounding streets if a CPZ is introduced. Rather than a confusing and piecemeal approach, which sees numerous CPZs implemented in small areas, sometimes on a street-by-street basis, we need to make sound decisions for the benefit of the borough as a whole.
But don’t some areas need a CPZ urgently?
It is already well known that parts of the borough are experiencing high levels of parking stress, for example Vassall ward, which is surrounded by existing CPZs. The study will look at this area during the first phase of the review, alongside neighbouring CPZs including Waterloo, Kennington, Stockwell, Brixton (part) and Camberwell, collecting evidence and informing preliminary design work in order to make progress on the case for the introduction of parking restrictions. It is hoped that the conclusions will be ready by July 2016 so any CPZ consultation and implementation can commence soon after this date.
The uncontrolled areas to the south of Brixton immediately north of the south circular is another area that borders CPZs to the north and has reported high levels of parking stress in recent years. The review will look closely at this area during the second phase of the review and provide a detailed evidence base for any further parking restrictions and CPZs in this area in a similar way to Vassall.
Two roads in Brixton Hill had a CPZ consultation in 2010, but nothing has been implemented. Will this consultation now be ignored?
A consultation in 2010 looked at the possibility of implementing a CPZ in Sulina and Morrish Roads in Brixton Hill. The feedback from the consultation produced strong opinions from residents both in favour and against the idea of a CPZ in their area, which made any CPZ design and agreement more difficult to implement. The council followed the legal process and considered all the representations made. For a variety of reasons, the scheme did not proceed. However, both roads are included in the first phase of the Parking Study and a new CPZ will be consulted on later this year, subject to funding.
Consultation results are usually considered out of date after three years as the population changes, different driving patterns develop and new opinions form. However, we know (from the 2010 consultation, and prior and subsequent communication with residents and ward councillors) that parking remains a big issue in Brixton Hill and this will be taken into account during the study.
It is important we look at the wider situation rather than just two isolated roads and the Parking Study will look to provide possible solutions for the whole area.
Will the council consult on any new CPZ proposals?
If the council were to proceed with a new CPZ, extend an existing CPZ or change the operational hours of a CPZ, we would fully consult all residents and businesses in the area. This would be separate work from the review.
Are there any other benefits from the study?
We are aiming to bring together in one database all the information on Lambeth’s highways (including number and type of parking bays, location of yellow lines, charging points, etc.), traffic orders, permit types and parking zones to make it easier for road users to understand the parking rules. We will look to publish the findings online which will enable members of the public to see where the parking bays, CPZs, yellow lines etc. exist. We will also review all types of parking permits in the borough in order to make it easier for residents and businesses to use.
The information gathered through the study will help us move more quickly and efficiently in implementing any future changes or opportunities including CPZs, car clubs, electric charging points, car hire schemes, traffic management etc.
Is every road in the borough going to be looked at?
Not every single road will be surveyed but we will certainly study every area in the borough. Roads that are known to have a high level of parking stress or already have a CPZ will definitely be reviewed, as well as those within the vicinity of transport hubs, schools, new developments and major retail areas.
Will any road surveys take place during school holidays when parking stress is reduced?
No on-street work will take place during school holidays.
How much does implementing a CPZ cost?
We are not able to determine the exact cost of implementing a CPZ, as they are tailored to specific areas with specific characteristics and sizes. However the study’s findings will inform any design work and enable us to predict the scope and cost more effectively, with the information gathered likely to reduce the cost and timescale of any future CPZ implementation.
How long would it take to implement a CPZ?
It depends on the exact nature, location and size of the CPZ proposed, but generally speaking it may take between six months and a year for a CPZ to be in force, including the consultation phase.
How much is the Parking Study costing and wouldn’t this money be better spent just implementing CPZs in the areas with highest pressure?
The cost of the Parking Study is around £600,000. The project is being managed in-house, it will require a great deal of man power alongside a small number of specialist engineers and covers hundreds of miles of roads. It’s a hugely detailed review to make sure that any current and future parking restrictions are appropriate and legally compliant, if this work was given out to an external consultant, we would expect the cost to be considerably more.
Implementing a number of new CPZs without fully understanding existing restrictions and the potential impact on other areas of the borough, will not address residents’ current and future parking needs properly. The Parking Study will help reduce the costs of designing new CPZs in future and will better inform any future decisions on parking.
Won’t the introduction of a CPZ impact on neighbouring roads that might not be part of any consultation?
Yes. It is a complex task to determine any new CPZ boundaries - that is why knowledge of the borough as a whole is essential in making any future decisions on CPZ implementation. A new CPZ scheme would cause an impact in the wider area, which will have to be taken into account during implementation of any scheme – this parking study will help predict that impact.
Does a CPZ mean I have to pay to park my car outside my own house?
Essentially, yes. Residents living in a CPZ will need to purchase a parking permit to be able to park in the area, which could cost up to £260 per year, depending on the vehicle. A parking permit does not guarantee a space outside your home, just within the specified area. However, we allow free parking to people who have a Blue Badge and are assisting a disabled person. We also allow free parking to load or unload from a vehicle, so long as they are seen and acknowledged by our officers.
Do parking restrictions cover estates?
All Lambeth Housing Management (previously Lambeth Living) estates were consulted in 2012 on parking controls and those estates that asked for enforcement now have it in place - a total of 63.