Robin ParkerLETTER FROM CLLR ROBIN PARKER TO THE COMET

Dear Sir

Thank you for highlighting the huge problems of parking for vehicle owners in Raleigh Crescent (Comet, 28 March, page 3). Some additional information is needed.

Raleigh Crescent was built around 1962/1963 and, like many other roads in Stevenage, there is insufficient parking provision, because at that time the enormous increase in car ownership and use was not forseen. When Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) announced about 3 years ago its intention to introduce lots of yellow lines, and also the verge and footway parking prohibition order, throughout Chells, Chells Manor and Mobbsbury, it was clear to me that there would be major problems – and so it has turned out. The verge and footway parking prohibition order makes it a ticketable offence to park with more than one wheel on the verge or footway.

This prohibition order, and all the new yellow lines, mainly at junctions, came into force on 8 October 2012 – and, as I predicted, I and my borough councillor colleague, Graham Snell, have been snowed under with complaints from residents since then. The worst affected road by far, in our area, is Raleigh Crescent.

Contrary to your report, SBC had no plans for extra parking provision in Raleigh Crescent as a result of this change and neither have they paid directly for any additional parking spaces.  However, Graham and I get one small local budget each from SBC and I also get two from Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), which we deliberately saved up, for both 11/12 and 12/13, from both SBC and HCC,  to try and help the problem in Raleigh Crescent. This is what we have done:

  1. Provided 6 extra parking spaces near houses 16-34 Raleigh Crescent, now in use, costing £9,584, paid for from my HCC Highways Local Budget and my HCC Locality Budget.
  2. Ordered one extra parking space near houses 45-55 Raleigh Crescent, to be made from 2 April, costing £1,650, paid for from my HCC Highways Local Budget.
  3. Set in motion plans to put 4 lights in the currently unlit garage-less compound accessed off Livingstone Link (very near Raleigh Crescent) because residents have told us that they might be prepared to park there is it was lit. This is subject to residents’ consultation. It will cost  £10,571. It will be paid for from my HCC Locality Budget (£8,816) and from my and Graham’s SBC Local Community Budget (£878 and £877 respectively).

You can see that the lions share of these costs has come from HCC, not SBC.

The engineers told us that our 7 new spaces were the only possible extra spaces in Raleigh Crescent – we suggested a number of other places, but these were all not possible due to residents’ opposition or safety reasons or engineering considerations.

I have also repeatedly asked SBC if any relaxation in the new parking restrictions can be made and have been told definitely no.

I am fully aware that other roads in ‘my’ area are also bad for residents’ parking – but at the moment we have no money left for further schemes. I am happy to consider other similar schemes if residents have any suggestions and, if I am still the Chells county councillor after the May elections, I will consider them using my new HCC budgets.

Yours sincerely,

 

Robin Parker