Sunday, 14 August 2011

Preston Road Parking

Sagar Shah has a lengthy posting on parking in Preston Road, which as he says is rather passionate.  He asks for a response, so here goes.

The first thing that strikes me, as I pointed out earlier, is that there seems to be an assumption that one area is being singled out.  This is actually the opposite of the fact.  The recent Highways decision is actually bringing the arrangements in Preston Road in line with other parts of the Borough.  Meters are being introduced as they exist elsewhere, and the same standard charge is applied.  My view is that treating Preston Road in the same way as other places is fair. 

My experience of going around various different parts of Brent is that there is a general perception that resources are skewed elsewhere.  People in the North frequently state that resources are sent disproportionately to the south.  People in the South often argue that resources are unfairly sent to the North. Sags argues that Preston Road should be treated as a special case, but I think that would only be justified if some special rationale can be shown.

He also argues that the shopkeepers are dependent on the free parking, and that without this they will go out of business.  I don't believe that is true, but it does not answer the point about fairness.  Effectively he is arguing for this road to get a special subsidy.  Why this road and not (say) Willesden, Chamberlayne Road, Harlesden or any other parade of shops?

The point, which is commonly made, that parking charges are there to maximise revenue ignores the fact that all such revenues have to be spent on transport expenditure.  In other words, motorists are contributing to the upkeep of the roads and pavements.  Since they use this transport network, that seems to me to be not unreasonable.

There is also a specific issue in the Preston Road area about the car park, which is widely regarded as underused.  Various charging regiemes have been attempted there, and yet people still complain that it is virtually empty.  I suspect that this is related to having free onstreet parking very close by.  Why pay when you don't have to? The introduction of meters will show if I am right.  It will also help to deal with the enforcement issues that Sags mentions.  As wardens will be enforcing the meters, they will also be available for other kinds of enforcement, something that has been noticeable in CPZ areas for many years.

1 comment:

  1. I posted a follow-up response to the above: