The KCG committee recently (24th Sept) met with Jon Toy, Bristol City Council’s RPZ liaision officer, to discuss the proposed changes to the Kingsdown zone. Below are summary notes of the meeting.
The KCG will send a response to BCC as a body, but individual members are strongly encouraged to respond also regarding the potential loss of very large numbers of parking spaces for residents in the area and other issues.
Email email@example.com noting reference CAE/NMT/P/907. It is necessary to give your name and address in the email (which may be available within Council documentation for public scrutiny) and to state (if an objection) why one objects. The deadline is 10th October.
Present : Jon Toy (JT) – BCC RPZ Liaison Officer, David Mellor (DM), Richard Harrad (RH), David Winter (DW), Jeremy Newick (JN), Nick Kidwell (NK), Nigel Tasker (NT), Lorna Robinson (LR), Joel Baillie-Lane (JBL) – notes.
JBL thanked JT for taking the time to attend this informal briefing which was organised to appraise attendees of the generalities of the proposed changes to the RPZ.
DM started the discussion by stating that after a recent meeting to discuss the RPZ it was generally agreed that the RPZ was a great improvement on the situation prior to its introduction in 2010, but that pressure on the zone had increased and it was in a ‘fragile’ state at present – hence the concern at some of the proposals, especially the changes to the system relating to business permits, and to the proposed increase of the RPZ catchment area to include some of Stokes Croft.
All present also expressed surprise that BCC were implying ‘consultation’ had taken place, as none of us was aware of anything until about 10 days ago. It was also pointed out that some of the new pressure on the scheme was from the increase in the number of residences in the area from recent developments.
JT replied with some general points on this RPZ and others similar that had been approved and were being implemented.
– Any genuine household in the zone can apply for up to 2 (sometimes 3) permits, but halls of residence and some other developments where car restrictions were specifically mentioned in planning consents can be refused permits
– all RPZs are reviewed after 6 months, and then roughly annually thereafter, so RPZs can be tweaked as required – nothing that is implemented here is irreversible.
– BCC wanted all RPZs to have common ‘systems’ in terms of pricing structure and timings (of zone restrictions), but where necessary variations will be made. As an example the Clifton Central Zone has a 9am to 9pm timespan due to the necessities of the area.
– Generally pricing would be as follows : £48 first permit (currently £30), £96 second permit (£80) and £192 third permit (£200). There are amendments on 4 levels for most to least efficient emissions from cars
– Permits are only granted to applicants who can prove residence in the zone, and whose V5 form shows they are the registered owner of the car. This should prevent some students using ‘parents car’.
– With regard to business permits, at present a legitimate business can apply for 2 permits for ‘staff’, and up to 5 for ‘customers’. This will change to a maximum of 7, but in any combination. Business permits are £250 each, with reductions for faith groups, charities and some small businesses.
– Regarding newly implemented schemes (Clifton Wood, Cotham North) the early feedback is generally positive, but there has been comment that there is not enough ‘Pay and Display’ (P&D)
– Income from the schemes is ring-fenced. The income goes to pay the loan (over an approx 10 year period) for implementation, and then afterwards income can only be spent within the system, so it is self funding.
– JT explained that it was standard policy to have a zone division down the middle of a road – hence the introduction of some Stokes Croft addresses into the zone
Comments in response to JT points were as follows :
– DW and JBL both commented upon the ‘squeezing’ of the existing zone by the introduction of both Stokes Croft and some areas around Whiteladies road into the RPZ. Concern was voiced as to how many businesses in these areas would apply for permits, and how many permits they might be allowed ….. especially the BBC !
– NT asked how the system monitored business permit applications. Legitimate applications for tradesmen and regular customers popping in and out all day are fine, but how does one monitor this to ensure they are genuine and not just being used by normal commuters who are happy to drive into the area and then walk a further mile or so to their place of work. Commuters should use public transport
– RH was concerned about the proposals for The back of Kingsdown Parade. This had very specifically been worked to its existing situation with consultation between BCC and residents 4 years ago. It was now shown as having about 15 less spaces available and those cars would have to park on Kingsdown Parade ….. knock on effect etc ! JT responded that he would check on this specific point as it might (?) be an error. RH pointed out that refuse lorries and emergency vehicles happily use the present arrangement, so there seems to be no need to tinker with it and it would save a lot of time and worry if it could just stay as it is
( Note : since these notes were made BCC have responded that some comments had been made to them by some resident(s) of BOKP that some cars parking there at present did hinder access )
– NK asked whether Kingsdown RPZ could change its hours of operation as Clifton was 9 til 9. JT stated that was something that could be looked into, and it was generally felt that increasing the evening time restriction to 7pm in Kingsdown would be helpful, and would not stop UHB night shift staff using the area
– DM pointed out that from a simple walk earlier he had counted 28 businesses in the side of Stokes Croft being introduced into the zone, and this could mean nearly 200 additional business permits just from this area, plus any residences above the businesses. This could push the zone past it’s ‘fragile’ state into a ‘broken’ state !
– All asked for some data feedback on existing / proposed numbers of permits issued, ration of resident to businesses, how many spaces are there in huge existing and proposed Kingsdown RPZ ….. etc. JT stated he should be able to disseminate data from their systems.
– JBL asked about parking on corners as per Clifton, stating the streets here are very narrow and turning on corners is not easy. JT stated that the corners in Clifton and elsewhere were being taken out of the bays to ease traffic movement and make pedestrian access easier.
– It was generally agreed that representations to BCC about the scheme were better coming from individuals rather than (representative) groups such as Kingsdown Conservation Group.
The meeting closed with JT stating that BCC will respond to ‘show-stopper’ issues or errors (such as BOKP query) and not minor niggles, but that the whole process is monitored and alterations can be implemented as required. However there is no plan for a full scale ‘re-consultation’
The meeting closed with thanks to JT for giving us the briefing – his time was appreciated
In discussions afterwards on the next step forward it was clear the following points were specific concerns that were still outstanding
1 The introduction into the zone of Stokes Croft businesses and possible residences – this would have a serious effect upon the balance of the RPZ
2 The introduction into the zone of areas close to Whiteladies Road and what impact this would have
3 The (hopeful) error in making changes to The Back of Kingsdown Parade – why change what already works perfectly well ?
4 We should ‘flag up’ the possibility of making timing changes – perhaps at a later date
5 The changes generally to Business Permit allocations – how will this affect the number of permits allowed
6 We should ‘flag up’ the lack of confidence in the ‘rigour of the interpretation of operational vehicles necessary for businesses to function’ – ie not commuters !
7 We should ask about only a limited number of streets immediately behind the Stokes Croft area being available for business permits relating to that area
8 We should flag up the fact that no consultation as such has taken place between BCC and KCG or other Kingsdown residents and earlier discussions would have been helpful to give time to sort things out properly – even if that took a bit of work for all parties.