2 April 2012

The 2011/12 Parking Service Team Plan (Stuff the motorist)

meters not in use either

Mr Mustard thought you might like to see the Team Plan for the Parking "Service" for 2011/12 which came to an end last week. He will send off for the next one.

Barnet Council Parking Service Team Plan 2011-12
Let us start with why parking is controlled. This what the council website says.

We introduce various parking management measures such as parking places and waiting restrictions in order to:
  • ease congestion caused by inconsiderate parking one sees very little of that nowadays.
  • help with road safety a laudable aim
  • assist disabled users of vehicles Barnet do not charge blue badge holders for parking
  • provide parking for specific users (such as residents, businesses, or blue badge holders) this doesn't quite happen. CPZ residents are provided with a permit, not with a parking space. Often there aren't any where you need them.
  • increase the turnover of parking to help visitors, clients of businesses, and shoppers to park this has been achieved. Thousands of town centre visitors have been moved on to other locations.
  • provide facilities for loading and unloading. stay out of loading bays.
So if we now look at the plan for last year, in particular page 2 "Setting the Scene" the plan says "to reach the required income levels". Oh dear, "ambitious targets have been set". If there was any doubt that the council have set out to empty the wallets of motorists in Barnet this plan dispels it. 

Mr Mustard thinks it was Brian Coleman who used to complain about vandals damaging the machines. Well up to 20% could have been out of action because the target for working machines was only 80% as it shows on page 3. How can that meet the corporate priority of "better service". 100% would be better service. Academic now, of course, but an interesting insight into the way the council tell us one thing and do another.

On page 4 there was a plan to repair signs and lines, not in order to comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 i.e. to uphold the law of the land, but because it would generate additional income and look the project was closed down because it was unproductive i.e. the council thought they were wasting money correcting deficiencies. The state of the lines that have will be handed over to NSL are worse than they should be.

Look in the second last column. What does it mean to Barnet Council if lines or signs are faulty. It means they can't issue a PCN i.e. a loss of income. 

At the bottom of the page. An issue rate of 2 Penalty Charges Notices per hour ( per traffic warden ). No wonder they need scooters. That looks awfully like a target which central government frowns upon.

The percentages missing on page 5 are only 1% of tickets to be cancelled due to traffic warden error and 48% of us are expected to roll over and pay at a discount. Sod that for a game of soldiers. Appeal everything.

On page 6 we can see how much thought was put into the impact of Brian Coleman's massive increases in fees and charges. "No modelling was done".

"Mitigating action is to be taken as necessary." The council have a one track mind. If income falls action will have to be taken to get it back up to target.

The 2 tickets per CEO per hour was not an error in the document. Here it is repeated on page 8.

Mr Mustard would laugh if this was not so sad. On page 9 "Ensure that our town centres are vibrant places where businesses can thrive" Our town centres are turning into ghost towns where empty shops are starting to thrive and car parks are half empty most of the time.

When will the council wake up and reverse the destructive course on which it is steaming full speed ahead?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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