10 April 2014

Parking in Barnet - Focus group messages

Although the Questions to and answers from the Leader of the council (not all answered by him, just what they are called) are full of pointless petty political point scoring (The Barnet Council chamber is not the House of Commons) the odd sensible question and answer do appear, like this one from Tuesday 6 April 14:

Question 26 Councillor Alan Schneiderman

Has the Cabinet Member now had time to identify the key messages coming out of the parking focus groups held in December and January; and if so what are they?

Answer by Councillor Dean Cohen

Yes and the key messages are as follows:

1. That we should relax enforcement – Civil Enforcement Officers are considered to be “ruthless and inflexible” (Absolutely no surprise there)

2. Free or cheap parking – free parking for 15-30 minutes are suggested in shopping streets and centres (what a good idea)

3. Straightforward payment methods (by which people probably meant cash)

4. Level of fines – it is suggested that there should be reduced car parking fines (but this is not under the Council’s control.) (Actually it is, the council could choose to accept the 50% rate at any time as they have a wide discretion. It would be an interesting experiment to see if compliance improved and payment collection percentages increased)

5. Council Policy and Engagement – This supports the development of a comprehensive parking policy and further engagement but suggested that residents would also like to have reviews of all controls and that we should provide additional parking.

6. Controlled parking – residents are concerned about the “myriad of variations in restrictions” so clearly we need to better explain the need for locally appropriate controls (or have less myriad variations)

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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