It can be truly terrible when a CPZ (controlled parking zone) is put in near you, but you are not actually included in it – and then everyone parks in your unrestricted bit and you then can never get anywhere near your own home to park. Never mind if you have young children, babies, buggies shopping or are older and mobility challenged – you will drive round and round and end up quite a distance from your own front door.
This was the case around Claremont Road and thanks to my Liberal Democrat colleague, Cllr Lyn Weber (Crouch End ward, which covers the eastern part of Highgate) and storming local residents, Haringey Council was eventually forced into putting a new CPZ proposal out to consultation – albeit at a snail’s pace.
I went to the publication of the results – and what was crystal clear was that some in some roads, including Claremont Road, life had become a living hell. Other parts of the consultation area had no problem at all. At the public meeting, Brian Haley (Labour Executive Member who makes the decisions) wouldn’t be drawn on saying yes to those in desperate streets – but in the end that is what he will have to do.
This brings me on to a real bit of Haringey Council insanity or incompetence – or both – in terms of CPZ introduction. Having introduced both the Highgate Village and Highgate Station CPZs, and extended the latter to North Road – they left out a relatively short stretch of road from both of those CPZs along part of North Road.
The trio of Highgate ward councillors (my Liberal Democrat colleagues Rachel Allison, Bob Hare and Neil Williams) have already led a long – but successful! – fight to get enough pay and display places outside the Highgate Group Practice on North Hill. And now they are battling to get this small left-out gap in North Road covered by a CPZ too.
The situation is an outrage as the Labour-run council only left this part of North Road without a CPZ by mistake. After pressure from Highgate councillors and residents, a consultation on correcting the blunder took place last year, and it received an overwhelming ‘green light’ from hard-pressed residents.
However, despite promises of action, nothing has been done, and Haringey Council is still refusing to set a date for the works, despite the short stretch of road, and the limited nature of the changes needed.
The latest excuse offered to Neil is that no funding has been agreed for the works, and it might be as late as March next year before residents get the parking control they have voted for and desperately need. Given how long it has taken to get to this point, you’d have thought they would notice before now that funding hadn’t been sorted – and have sorted it out long ago.
(c) Lynne Featherstone, 2008