12 December 2011

Parking problems persist

Come on people, get on your bikes, not to find work a la Norman Tebbitt, but to get to work. You surely aren't going to let the fact that it is 3 degrees below zero stop you from working up a sweat cycling to work. OK then, a little scooter, for short distances, 10, 20, 30 miles they are great. For longer distances you might need a real motorbike. No problems with parking.

For you car drivers, and it is sometimes essential that you do have a car in order to do your job properly, here is the recent news from the intranet ( can Mr Mustard have access to the intranet under FOI rules? ). Maybe with Cllr Rams' new found enthusiasm for openness and transparency anyone will be able to access the intranet?

We have had a strong response to the First Team message about parking at NLBP. Over the last ten days, we have received over 100 emails with ideas of ways to improve the parking situation at NLBP. Mr Mustard wonders how many of them simply said to buy enough parking spaces and stop being so tight. He has heard of meetings being delayed for 30 minutes whilst the attendees went round and round the car park looking for a space. What does that cost in terms of wasted time?

As more workers move over from Barnet House and with the return of Middlesex University to the site, parking has become a serious issue, with staff sometimes taking unreasonable amounts of time to find a parking space, and also that we are inconveniencing our residents by parking in neighbouring roads. We have under-estimated the number of cars that staff have; what, one each, goodness me!

Ideas have included borrowing the Middlesex University places, creating a short stay parking zone for use by ‘essential’ car users, putting on a shuttle bus between Barnet House, Arnos Grove and NLBP, and better managing usage spikes like conferences. Thank you to all those staff who contributed to the debate. Thank goodness the staff have some ideas because we don't have any. Staff should walk from Arnos Grove, it's only a kilometre. It will help with fitness levels.

In the short term, 48 parking spaces have been borrowed from the Emerald Suite for use by council staff. These spaces are at the very back of the site behind the old Barnet College building. Negotiations are also underway to borrow back the 68 spaces used by Middlesex University in the multi-storey car park. Hallelujah.

To solve the problems over the long term, a new policy will be introduced in the coming weeks. This will involve a reissue of all passes and will include a charging scheme in order to control the distribution of permits. Staff are also encouraged to utilise the car sharing forum on the intranet. What a stupid idea. Charge the staff to park at work. Did the council learn nothing from the CPZ responses. People do not like to pay for parking. They simply move to the edge of the zone. Car sharing is a great idea in theory but much more problematic in practice; one user is a ROSPA or  IAM qualified driver and the other is a homicidal maniac who is always on 2 wheels. Will the car sharing last for long; no! Forget the stick; what about the carrot? Pay people to give up their cars and travel by some other method.

Exact details will be communicated shortly, but it could involve a modest one-off charge for a permit for most staff. Daily charges will apply for consultants and interim staff and day visitors. Keep reading First Team for further information. Modest, in One Barnet terms, that will not be modest. It will be if you are Andrew Travers, the Chief Financial Officer, on £1,000 per day but if you are on the minimum wage it won't be funny.

Staff are again reminded of the importance of being good neighbours and are urged to avoid parking in adjacent residential roads. As long as staff park legally in the side roads in N11 there is not a problem. Residents do not own those roads. We all have to share.
More stupid intranet remarks soon.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. Nice of the council to use an office that is in the borough (just), and then provide transport to outside it, instead of further west in Barnet.


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.