Shrewsbury Park Residents' Association
Presentation to Greenwich Council's Highway Committee
10th January 2012
Being discussed this evening is the Yellow lining proposal, however the Association wishes to register in this forum its objection to the work carried out to re-profile the junctions of Plum Lane and Brinklow Crescent without consultation in 2011. This issue was discussed the Association’s AGM in June 2011 attended by around 50 residents, none of whom supported the scheme and we wish the junctions to be restored please.
With regard to the issue being debated this evening, the Association strongly objects to the proposal to introduce waiting restrictions, waiting restriction signage and yellow-lining.
The waiting restrictions within this scheme are simply not justifiable. They do not resolve any parking problems or safety hazards unique to this stretch of Plum Lane, but do create new problems locally and add to Council costs.
Council justification for, and negative effect of scheme
Plum Lane is not a bus route or a main road
There have never been any recorded accidents or incidents involving children or adults, cyclists, vehicles or pedestrians in the proposed area.
The scheme, if implemented, will simply move car parking to opposite 215-223 Plum Lane where there is currently no car parking, creating a worse traffic hazard. It will then be necessary to introduce further waiting restrictions to control the newly created hazard and this would logically expand until a whole new CPZ has been created in piecemeal and in costly increments, all of which would appear to create, not solve, problems.
The introduction of the controls are not justified at this junction as the road conditions are much better than in many other local roads that have intersections with Plum Lane where cars are parked right on ninety degree junctions, local examples include Kirk Lane and Plum Lane, Isla Road and Vernham Road, Wrottesley Road and Genesta Road.
The Council justification cites the Highway Code's rule that you should not park within 10m of a junction. Whilst this may best practise, the Council has not yellow-lined other junctions where cars are parked within 10m of them and where clearly there are hazards with sight-lines and very poor visibility, as with the junctions mentioned. If it is the intention then, to apply yellow-lining to the 10m rule arbitrarily across the borough, there could be serious parking difficulties created for residents in many of the borough’s streets, particularly those lined with Victorian terraced villas. The 10m rule is therefore not a justification. If yellow-lining to the 10m rule was undertaken on a need or priority basis, the junctions of Plum Lane and Brinklow Crescent would not be included on any short-list that was logically constructed.
The scheme therefore has no logical justification and could potentially be seen as intended to penalise.
Street scene character and Conservation Area designation
The Shrewsbury Park Estate was designated as a Conservation Area in 1992 and Article 4 Direction planning controls were introduced in 1994, this includes outside 203-223 Plum Lane.
Yellow lines and parking restriction plates are visual clutter. Neither were an original feature of the Estate, both are unsightly and out of keeping. The yellow lining, and the waiting restriction signage in particular, would appear to require Conservation Area Consent and this has not been applied for, as part of this proposal.
The parking restrictions will further pressure those houses directly affected to create hardstandings on front gardens within the Conservation Area because the option of on-street parking has been removed. This presents a very real threat to the character of the Conservation Area characterised by its garden-city style, and in a prominent part of the Laing Estate’s frontage.
The scheme will increase cars parking at the entrance to the Laing Estate, in Mereworth Drive, which was purpose created with wide shrub borders and without house frontages in order to achieve the characteristic open vista into the Estate. This part of the Estate has already seen an increase in parked cars as a direct result of the recent changed layout to the junctions of Brinklow Crescent and Plum lane. These roadworks did not follow normal Council procedure because there was no consultation. The Residents’ Association does not support them.
Costs to the Council
The waiting restriction proposal will require Council funding [of £2500] to install, and then further costs incurred to enforce through patrolling. This money would be better spent on highway improvements locally and the Association has suggestions for these, e.g., the installation of original shrub beds outside 209-215 Plum Lane and ornamental posts, both were original features of the Conservation Area.
There are no other controlled parking areas locally; parking officers would need to travel up from Herbert Road or Plumstead Common Road in order to patrol this very small stretch of yellow lining. This scheme would therefore require mobile enforcement and this cannot be cost-effective if the restrictions are to be enforced.
The scheme will prove to be a cost to the Council and Council Tax Payers whilst visually harming the character of one of the Royal Borough’s cherished Conservation Areas.
In summary, the Association considers that the scheme is not justifiable and the Council has not made a convincing case for it, and in any event, the street signage does not appear to have the necessary Conservation Area consents.
Equally, the proposal does not have the support of any resident consulted.
The Association requests of Members in the strongest terms that this proposal is not agreed tonight and that the scheme be dropped altogether or modified to ‘advisory’ white lines only or at the very least remove the yellow lining from the Mereworth Drive side of Plum Lane.
Thank you for hearing our objections and the rationale for them.
Are they any questions?
Chair, Shrewsbury Park Residents’ Association