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Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent CPZ Alteration Consultation: The Questions

CPZ Consultation NoticeWhy is there a consultation on changing the current CPZ restrictions in Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent now?

There were a number of fully justified complaints and reports from Radnor Cliff residents about the increasing congestion in Radnor Cliff. This was leading at weekends, and often during summer holidays too, to the road jamming, as with the road fully parked there is insufficient space for cars to get in and out and pass each other. This has led to jams, residents unable to access their homes, emergency vehicles being blocked, and even arguments in the street.

F&HDC have now brought in a number of measures that should make the park nicer to use and to try to direct traffic to the Coastal Park Car Park at the foot of the park. However, on nice days, the Lower Sandgate Road West will still fill, and people will then still park in the road if they legally can, and the road will still get blocked. There is no one single solution: life isn't that easy.

Removing the two hours free visitor parking in that area in the summer would mean any vehicle without a permit (not making a delivery) can be ticketed within 5 minutes. That will dissuade people from trying to avoid parking charges by parking in your road and, alongside the other measures, will hopefully play its part in keeping the road running.

what are the details of the changes?

You can read the proposed changes at http://www.sandgatepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/proposal-notice-changes-to-cpz-restrictions-in-radnor-cliff-and-radnor-cliff-crescent-sandgate/

Why not wait to see how it pans out over the summer than look at it then?

Because its dangerous. The jams, lack of access to homes and blocked emergency access was raised time and again by residents as unacceptable. By going to consultation now, if the majority of residents agree then the new restrictions can be in place by the school summer holidays.

If we delay, then there are likely to be more jams, emergency services blocked and parking chaos on some days over the summer. It's not fair to ask people to live through that if they agree to measures to improve it sooner. We spend a lot of time bemoaning how long the Council takes to do anything - seems a little unfair to then complain when the Council actually DOES do something quickly in response to requests!

Why were the RRRA not consulted before the proposals went out to consultation with local residents?

They were. There were extensive emails to and from the the Chair and the Secretary to local Councillors, the Cabinet Member for Parking and Parking Services before the decision to go to consultation was taken. A number of points were raised (around visitor permit and paper permits amongst others) which were discussed and clarifications / promises made. However, as there were a number of differing views, it has been sent to consultation.

Will anyone listen to our views?

Yes. I can't force the Cabinet Member to enact the majority view of the resident households that express their preference in the consultation, but I have asked him to do so, and he has agreed that he will.

If the majority of those replying want the change, he will sign off to make it happen. If the majority do not want it, then he will leave the current scheme in place unaltered.

Why would we be a separate zone from the rest of Sandgate? Its referred to as "Zone H" in the recent letter to residents?

You won't. The Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent area is part of the Sandgate East CPZ and permits from Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent will still be valid in the rest of Sandgate and vice-versa. The reference to Zone H in the covering letter is a proofing error: Parking Services have confirmed there is NO change on the existing Zone.

We're limited to 50 visitor permits a year. I need more than that.

You can have them. 50 is the standard allocation, but Parking services have agreed that it will issue additional permits to residents in the Sandgate CPZ on request: they simply need to be asked. The extra permits will cost the same as the first 50 - £1.04 for a days permit.

I find the online visitor permit system really hard. Can there be a paper permit system for those who can't use the app?

Agreed - I've been saying this for years. However having re-raised that point with the Cabinet Member for Parking he has agreed to discuss this further with the Parking Services team. No promises as this would have district wide implications (there are CPZ schemes across Folkestone and Sandgate, and it would need to be available equally) but he has agreed to take this concern into account and see if we can introduce such a scheme for those that simply cannot use the online system.

Can tradespeople get their own permit?

Yes. There is a tradesman permit scheme which allows local tradespeople to buy a zone permit for a day, week or year. that will appear on the Council website soon, but if any trader wants one now, they can buy them by calling Parking Services.

Will this mean I need a permit for deliveries?

No. Deliveries are free at any time - as long as a delivery is actively occurring, then the delivery vehicle can park without permit for as long as they need to do so to make the delivery.

Why can't we just have different parking restrictions in our CPZ area between summer weekdays and summer weekends, and then the different restrictions in the Winter?

Because its not legal. The national guidance says that would be confusing, and shouldn't be done.

There is guidance on this in the Traffic Signs Manual section 13.17.5 which recommends not applying different conditions on different days. The adjudicators also strongly recommend avoiding complex signs, and are usually on the side of the motorist when complicated restrictions are introduced. Different conditions summer weekdays / weekends, as well as winter/summer months, will be a problem.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/782724/traffic-signs-manual-chapter-03.pdf

Why don't you just fine those that park illegally in the road much more? That'll soon stop them.

Because we can't. Again, this is national - a National Statutory Instrument (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/3487/schedule/made) sets the level of charges / fines, and outside London there are two bands. Within each band there is a lower charge for low level contraventions.

  • Lower Band: £60 / £40
  • Higher Band: £70 / £50

Folkestone and Hythe DC charge the higher band: £70 for higher level contraventions (yellow lines, disabled bays, permit bays etc.), and £50 for lower level contraventions (overstaying in on/off street bays, expired tickets, not parked within bay markings etc.) Both reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days, again, as specified by the Statutory Intrument.

To be fair, it's probably best Councils don't set their own parking charges, but if you think they need changing nationally, that will require Government to make the change.

What's your view as Councillor?

I've pushed to consult local residents on a change as soon as possible. I will back the majority view of residents in that consultation. If change is backed by most, I'll support it. If the current position is backed by most, I'll back it.

I've ensured that this consultation is posted to every household in Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent so every household knows and can have their say. I'll be dleivering another reminder myself.

If I lived in Radnor Cliff, I'd vote for the changes, and have fought for changes and clarifications to ensure what is proposed has the best possible mitigations for all residents. But I don't. So I can express my opinion, but it will be for residents to decide.

I don't want the current CPZ scheme to change. What should I do?

If you wish to make an objection or comment about the proposed Order, you must write to Folkestone & Hythe District Council (Traffic Orders), Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2QY or email traffic.orders@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk . For your objection or comments to be considered they must reach us by 5pm on Friday 3rd July 2020. For legal reasons we cannot accept any objection or comment over the phone or in person.

Make sure you send an objection as above, with your name and address, by Friday 3rd July.

I do want the current CPZ scheme to change. What should I do?

If you wish to make an objection or comment about the proposed Order, you must write to Folkestone & Hythe District Council (Traffic Orders), Civic Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2QY or email traffic.orders@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk . For your objection or comments to be considered they must reach us by 5pm on Friday 3rd July 2020. For legal reasons we cannot accept any objection or comment over the phone or in person.

Make sure you send a message of support as above, with your name and address, by Friday 3rd July.