This report considers how we respond to the challenges set out by the
administration including the introduction of Pedestrianised Zones outside schools affected by illegal, dangerous and inconsiderate parking; to improve safety for children, parents, guardians and residents during school term time; and to ensure that these policy initiatives are embedded within the developing Transport Vision.
The Traffic Management Advisory Committee considered the report in accordance with objectives to improve the safety of and reduce obstructive parking on the Borough’s roads as detailed in: the Croydon Local Plan, November 2015; the Local Implementation Plan 2; the Transport Objectives; the Croydon’s Community Strategy 2013-18, Priority Areas 1, 2 and 3; and the Croydon Corporate Plan 2015 – 18.
The report considered the proposed response to the challenges set out by the administration, which included the introduction of Pedestrianised Zones outside schools affected by illegal, dangerous and inconsiderate parking; to improve safety for children, parents, guardians and residents during school term time; and to ensure that these policy initiatives are embedded within the developing Transport Vision.
The Head of Parking Services explained that additional feedback had been received since the publication of the report; however, this did not raise any further concerns that were not highlighted in the report already.
Mr Graham Garbis addressed the Committee in his capacity as a local resident and explained that the introduction of the pilot scheme had increased pollution within the area. The scheme had not promoted parents and children to walk to school but instead were driving and parking outside the school zone causing congestion, increased illegal parking and increased pollution, noise and litter in the residential area. Mr Garbis explained that not only the main roads were severely affected by tailbacks and dangerous parking but the residential cul-de-sacs and back roads in the local area were congested too. He added that there were inaccuracies in the report and submitted objections and a local petition had not been noted.
Mr Peter Morgan addressed the Committee in his capacity as a local resident and explained that the report was incorrect and had not correctly recorded the amount of objections received by local residents. He noted that the Committee could not make an informed decision without visiting the affected areas. The residents who lived in the immediate area of the schemes were not in support and the permit system was burdensome.
Councillor Ian Parker addressed the Committee in his capacity as a Ward Councillor for the Coulsdon Town Ward and explained that significant concerns had been raised by local residents. There were existing problems in the area which needed to be addressed; however, the introduced pilot scheme had caused a high number of concerns, including: increased traffic and congestion in the surrounding areas; a danger concern for the children attending the schools; and restricted access to the schools. Councillor Parker suggested that the three proposed school zones be voted on separately by the Committee as there were unique concerns within each Ward and these needed to be mitigated suitably.
Councillor Luke Clancy addressed the Committee in his capacity as a Ward Councillor for the Coulsdon Town Ward and explained that he had been receptive to the scheme; however, it had caused further challenges in the area. There had been reports from local residents that their driveways were regularly being blocked and there was an increase in dangerous parking and driving. He added that at least two petitions from local residents had been circulated. Councillor Clancy seconded Councillor Parker’s suggestion of voting on the three proposed school zones separately. He added that the pilot scheme should be extended to ensure a full study of the affected areas could be considered.
In response to the queries raised by the speakers the Head of Parking Services explained that the catchment areas had been reduced dramatically for the affected schools and, for example, the new cohort of children starting school in September 2018 lived within a 23 minute walk of Woodcoate Primary School.
It was noted that the lateness of the pupils at the three affected schools had improved significantly.
Parents and carers were able to park on site of the schools if they were blue badge holders or had short term medical illnesses. Croydon Council had worked with the schools regarding this and all the requests submitted had been resolved.
In response to the queries raised by speakers whether the scheme was legal or not the Head of Parking Services noted that there had been two legal challenges against Croydon Council, which had both unsuccessful and the report had been reviewed and agreed by legal services. The Traffic Management Order (TMO) had been advertised in advance and extensive consultation had taken place.
Councillor Hoar formally proposed to reword the recommendations and vote on the three proposed school zones separately as the areas faced significantly different challenges. He noted that he was not concerned with the South Norwood proposals as there had not been a high number of objections received from the effected local residents. Councillor Hoar explained that he was concerned that the safety of the children had not been improved as the traffic had been distributed elsewhere and they were more likely to be dropped off on the main road. Consequently, the pollution was being displaced and would negatively impact the neighbouring backroads.
In response to the concerns raised by Councillor Hoar the Head of Parking Services noted that a pedestrian crossing and lollypop-person had been introduced on the main road and all other safety issues had been mitigated. It was added that the pollution had increased in the surrounding roads; however, this could be seen as a positive as thus the pollution around the schools had reduced.
Councillor Canning noted that he had visited the two affected schools in the South Norwood ward but understood from the concerns raised, both by the present speakers and the objections recorded in the report, that the Woodcoate area had different issues and the school zone may not mitigate these. He noted that it would be interesting to see if the scheme was rolled out to other areas of the Borough if this was successful and he suggested a guidance should be created.
In response to Councillor Canning it was explained that the feedback received from the three schools had been very positive and supportive of the scheme, including Woodcoate Primary School. Croydon Council had introduced the scheme to these the selected three schools because the schools had approached the Council for help with their issues with inappropriate parking. It was explained that guidance had been provided to local authorities and this could be supplied to other local schools if requested.
Councillor Bains explained that there were existing problems in the Woodcoate area with the volume of traffic and dangerous parking; however, the pilot scheme had caused further problems with illegal parking, pollution and congestion. He noted that these problems needed to be resolved before the scheme was granted; therefore, he formally seconded Councillor Hoar’s motion to vote on the three schools separately.
Councillor Jewitt noted that it was a positive scheme and would should resolve the high level of dangerous parking in the areas. She noted concern for children walking to school through the high levels of pollution from the Purley Way but car use should not be promoted in the Borough. The schools needed to work with parents to encourage walking to school and to also promote the scheme.
Councillor Ali noted that currently 75% of children lived within a 9-20 minute walking distance from the schools and it was essential to ensure the walk to school was made safe for children and parents. It was suggested that this could be achieved through wider dispersal of traffic in the area. He noted that once parents are aware of the benefits from the scheme then the car use level should reduce and ease the problems with congestion. The scheme would promote a healthy lifestyle and he was pleased that the air quality near the school would be improved. He added that he hoped the scheme would be rolled out to other local schools within the Borough.
The Head of Parking Services noted that additional enforcement had been located in the areas and a hotline had been set up for local residents to report any queries, such as their driveway being blocked by a vehicle. It was further clarified that they could not enforce charges on vehicles parked across the entrance to a driveway unless it was reported by the owner of the property.
The Chair explained that he was satisfied with the scheme and was pleased that a safer, healthier environment was being promoted. He explained that it was a well written, detailed report which was evidence based.
Following the motion proposed by Councillor Hoar and seconded by Councillor Bains regarding the separate vote, the Chair explained that the recommendations would be voted on individually.
The Traffic Management Advisory Committee RESOLVED to recommend to the Acting Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Regeneration (Job Share) that they:
1.1 Consider carefully the objections received in response to the Coulsdon, Woodcote Primary School and South Norwood, Heavers Farm Primary School and St Chad’s Catholic Primary School Pedestrian Zone Pilot Schemes consultation exercise and the officer comments in response to the objections within this report.
1.2 Agree that the Director of Safety be authorised to make the necessary Traffic Management Orders under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended) as to:
1.3 Implement the permanent introduction of the Croydon Pedestrianised Zone at the Coulsdon, Woodcote Primary School, encompassing the following roads as shown in appendix C:
· Dunsfold Rise
· Meadow Rise
· Fairfield Way
1.4 Implement the permanent introduction of the Croydon Pedestrianised Zone at
Heavers Farm Primary School and St Chad’s Catholic Primary School, South Norwood, encompassing roads as shown in appendix C
· Dinsdale Gardens
· Alverston Gardens
1.5 Officers to inform the objectors and those who responded in support of the decision.