Jul 10

Notes from Rowan Crescent Residents’ meeting with Councillors and NHDC

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Notes from Rowan Crescent Residents’ meeting with Councillors and NHDC
1 July 2014

Please note these are not council minutes they are notes taken and prepared by Rhonda Parry who was at the meeting.

 

Ten residents attended the meeting, along with:

  • L. Symes, Strategic Planning and Projects Manager, NHDC
    N. Ihsan, Principal Transport Officer, NHDC
    C. Phillipps, Technical Transport Officer, NHDC
    Councillor L. Kercher, Hertfordshire County Councillor
    Councillor G. Grindall, Wilbury Ward Councillor
    Councillor J. Cunningham, Portfolio Holder for Policy, Transport and Green Issues

Phase 1: Bedford Road Junction Protection Scheme
Pre-consultation feedback:
• C. Phillips said the NHDC had only 8 households (out of approximately 115) in the Wilbury area respond to the Pre-Consultation Notification dated the 5th of June 2014.
• Several residents explained that the letter was unclear – many believed that they wanted only objections. L. Symes noted this in order to make future notifications clear, because they do want feedback.
• The signed letters from the Rowan Crescent residents regarding the double yellow lines were given to C. Phillips and these will be added to the supporting documentation.

 

The Traffic Regulation Order is being drafted and there will be a 21-day period in which people can object, both residents and non-residents. This will be publicised by letters to residents, signs, on the Council’s website, and in The Comet. If there are no objections, the lines should be painted around October – November.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO RESIDENTS: Residents, please give the Council feedback (good and bad) when you receive the notification.

Other comments mentioned in regard to the junction protection scheme were:
• The Council will monitor where the displaced cars (approximately 10-12) due to the double yellow lines along Bedford Road migrate to.
• A resident pointed out that double yellow lines should be painted across from the junctions as well in order to ensure safety. However, L. Symes explained that this cannot be done at this stage simply because of the whole processes will need to be started again for Rowan Crescent in order to obtain the agreement of More Bedford Residents and we risk not getting the funding and delaying everything by at least an additional year. But the concern is noted and we need to consider that in the next phase of work.

 

Phase 2: Consideration of Parking Restrictions for the Wider Area
L. Symes referred to the NHDC Parking Strategy 2009 – 2019, Section 6.0 ‘Residential and other non-Town Centre Areas’ which highlights the approach to parking issues for streets like Rowan Crescent.
http://www.north-herts.gov.uk/index/transport_and_streets/car_parking/car_parking_strategy.htm.
Consideration of Options:
Some types of parking restrictions that may be considered are:
• Single yellow line (no waiting during times shown on sign)

• No parking between certain hours unless you have a permit. This could be Monday – Friday or Monday – Saturday, etc. The times would be staggered by street in order to allow for enforcement.

There could be different restrictions for different streets. It will not be a one-scheme-fits-all approach.
Fifty-percent of households must support parking restrictions.

 

The Traffic Regulation Process:
• Pre-Consultation
• Drafting the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)
• Advertising
• Analysis of Representations
• Officer Report to recommend or not recommend parking scheme(s)
• If approval is given:
• The TRO is published
• Residents and those who gave representations will be notified and given the time scale
• Six-week High Court Challenge Period
• If no challenges, order comes into force.

Timescales
A pre-consultation will most likely be carried out in January or February 2015 and will take approximately 2 months. This will comprise a letter to residents.Again, please give the NHDC your feedback, whether you support or object to parking restrictions.

The whole process, including the pre-consultation and the official consultation, should take approximately 1 year working with Local Resident Groups including Rowan Crescent.

 

Parking Data Analysis carried out by residents.

Residents discussed with the Officers and Councillors the parking data that had been collected over a one-month period. The Officers were very keen to have the information as it will augment the data that they have and will be collecting. The spreadsheet was passed on to them and some graphs and charts have been generated and will be sent to them as well.

In one month 156 different vehicles parked in Rowan Crescent.

The first chart (Total Half-Days Parked in Rowan Crescent) captures all parking over the day including people who were only there for a half day and others who were there for a full day.

The second chart (Total Full days Parked in Rowan Crescent) has been separated out to highlight potential non resident commuters by ignoring any causal parking. The non-residents in this chart have an 80% probability of being a commuter.(This last number has been derived from the frequency and duration of all parked vehicles)

Frequency and duration data for every individual car parked in Rowan Crescent is available but its not appropriate to publish here.

Click on the graph to enlarge.

 

Half Days Parked in Rowan Crescent

Cars Parked ALL Day
Miscellaneous points:
The NHDC are reluctant to implement parking restrictions for one or two streets in the Wilbury area. It would be for the entire area.
The sale of non-resident permits for Rowan Crescent and other streets is a possibility although this has not been done as of yet in other streets with residential parking controls. If parking restrictions were implemented in the Wilbury area, the sale of non-resident permits could happen after approximately one year; however, residents would be consulted.

Councillor Kercher mentioned the following:
• Pressure for parking spaces is going to increase, particularly if the 1,000 new houses are built near the Grange.
• The parking garage in Letchworth town centre closes at 9pm and commuters are reluctant to use it for this reason and the cost.
• She has been told that the Letchworth Heritage Foundation has no plans to fund / build any car parks in Letchworth.
• Long-term parking needs to be assessed: more car parks, better bus system, etc.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=221

Jun 09

Major Announcement: Parking Meeting Minutes 08 June 2014,

Rowan Crescent Residents’ Parking Meeting 08 June 2014, 18.00 – 19.30

??????????????????Major Announcement: 

  • Junction protection at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road:

While the Letchworth Committee had voted to make junction protection on Bedford Road and Rowan Crescent, along with 5 other junctions, there was no funding. There has been a great deal of wrangling between Councillor Kercher and the rest of the Council over who is going to pay. After many conversations with her and emails from the residents, we should have our double yellow lines painted within 9 months! Great news! Please see her email from the 7th of June below:

Hi Rhonda
I have agreed to pay for the yellow lining from my budget and the process is now started. I have asked how long this will take and have been advised that it could take up to 9 months.  Not what you want to hear I am sure, but I will try to hurry them along if possible.
Lorna Kercher

 

Rest of the Minutes
Miscellaneous items:

  • White lines: The Highways Department replied to an email. Rhonda had sent asking about the white lines in front of driveways. Please see the email dated the 6th of May below:

Dear Rhonda Smith-Parry

Thank you for contacting Hertfordshire County Council

The white lines are only used as a guide and we can not stop people parking on them But if you are experiencing issues with vehicles obstructing the access to your property, please contact the Police on 101 who are responsible for obstructing vehicles.
The local council are responsible if vehicles are illegally parked and can be contacted at service@north-herts.gov.uk or 01462 474000

If you require any further information then please let us know

Regards,
Highways Support Team

Customer Service Centre
www.hertsdirect.org/highways

 

  • Rowan Crescent residents and parking permits for Cowslip Hill:

Rhonda wrote to the NHDC asking if it is possible for RC residents to purchase a parking permit for CH, as it would be a nice option if we are having work done that requires our driveways to be used by tradesmen. Please see the email below:

Dear Mrs Parry

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately parking permits are only available to residents living within a Residents Parking Zone. Rowan Crescent doesn’t have restricted parking therefore you would not be able to apply for a permit.

Yours sincerely
Customer Service
North Hertfordshire District Council

 

  • Posting photos of bad / illegal parking on www.rowancrescent.com: As it is a public website, posting photos of this nature could have legal ramifications. Therefore, it cannot be done.

 

  • Data Collection and the initial analysis:

Clare’s data on parking on our street, which she so diligently collected, was put into a spreadsheet. Initial findings were:

• Approximately 26 cars are parked on Rowan Crescent on each working day.
• About half of these are non-residents.
• Over a four-week period, 156 different cars were parked on the street.
• If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet, please email Rhonda.
• More analysis will be done before the meeting with the NHDC on the 1st of July.

 

  • Meeting with the NHDC on the 1st of July:

What questions do we have for Louise Symes, NHDC, and our councillors? Attendees at the meeting came up with some initial comments / questions:
• ‘I’d like to be able to park outside my house – to come and go and having a parking space when I get home, during the day and evening.’
• ‘I’d like for my visitors, cleaners, gardeners, etc. to be able to park outside my house, because as of now, I have to put my car on the street in advance so they will have space on my driveway.’
• ‘I’d like to see fewer cars parked on the street.’
• ‘How will the NHDC calculate parking capacity (if residential parking controls are implemented) when it comes to selling permits to non-residents if there is low take-up from residents?’
• ‘In terms of access, would having parking bays painted on RC (staggered on either side of the road, unlike Cowslip Hill) help with this issue?’

Rhonda has confirmed that it will be with the Council, Councillors and approximately 10 Rowan Crescent residents. Please see the email below dated the 5th of June, from C. Phillipps:

Hi Rhonda
Yes, it will just be Council Officers, together with ward Councillors and the residents as you indicate. Please be aware that due to the size of the room, we will not be able to accommodate any further attendees.
Regards
Christine

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=212

Jun 08

Meeting Today Sunday 8th: Last get-together before the upcoming Council meetings

Dear All Residents of Rowan Crescent,

Today we’ll be having our last get-together before the upcoming Council meetings.

The agenda will be:

• Initial results of the data collection on Rowan Crescent parking
• Meeting with Louise Symes, NHDC, on the 1st of July
• Junction Protection at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road

If you’re able to come (and haven’t let us know), please do, so that I can be sure to have enough hand-outs. If you’re unable to come, we’ll be posting the minutes on the website and putting hard copies through the doors of the residents for whom we do not have an email address next week.

Many thanks,
Rhonda

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=206

Jun 06

Parking Consultation Notification Letter

img004This letter was sent to all residents ref the Yellow Lines on Bedford Road and their Street.

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=198

Jun 05

Reply from Councillors ref the Pre Consultation

From: Transport [mailto:transport@north-herts.gov.uk]
Sent: 05 June 2014 12:28
To: Rhonda Smith
Cc: Louise Symes; Naima Ihsan
Subject: RE: Yes, we ALL want double yellow lines at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road!

Hi Rhonda

Yes, it will just be Council Officers, together with ward Councillors and the residents as you indicate. Please be aware that due to the size of the room, we will not be able to accommodate any further attendees.

Regards
Christine

 

From: Rhonda
Sent: 05 June 2014 12:04
To: ‘Louise Symes’
Subject: RE: Yes, we ALL want double yellow lines at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road!

Dear Louise,

Many thanks for the email. We’re looking forward to getting this underway.

I just wanted to let you know there will be 10 residents attending the meeting on the 1st of July. Will it just be the Council, possibly the ward councillors and the Rowan Crescent residents?

Kind regards,
Rhonda

 

From: Louise Symes
Sent: 04 June 2014 17:14
To: Rhonda Smith; Cllr Gary Grindal; Sangha, Deepak (UK); lorna.kercher
Cc: Naima Ihsan; Christine Phillipps
Subject: RE: Yes, we ALL want double yellow lines at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road!

Dear Rhonda

Thank you for your email, we note the content of the survey. The paperwork for the pre-consultation exercise is now complete and we will be starting the pre-consultation at the end of this week. Residents will be notified accordingly.

Regards Louise
Louise Symes
Strategic Planning & Projects Manager

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=192

May 25

Parking our Parking Issues: Residents demand action: Councillors Surgery 17th May

A number of residents demanded action from Councillor Kercher at a surgery on Saturday, the 17th of May, 10.00 – 12.00, Letchworth Town Centre, in front of Iceland.

Councillor Kercher is responsible for providing the funding out of her Locality Budget for the double yellow lines at Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road.

A number of residents visited the surgery, this is my own account. If others can send me their accounts I can post them too.

It was a friendly, frank and honest conversation in which she explained the difficulties she was facing with progressing the funding at the moment.

Below are some of the salient points.

I asked her why the funding had not been allocated.? She was surprised that the funding was being sought from her locality budget because she had not agreed to it. The first she knew about it was when it appeared on the council meeting minutes.

How big was the Locality budget? It’s 100k, however when I took over the budget 60k of had already been allocated by my predecessor. I allocated around 30k to other projects and that left very little available funding. It was only after the previous allocations were made that I found out the Rowan Crescent Junction Protection was made a priority.

So what action are you now taking? As the yellow lines are now a safety issue I have made an inquiry to see if the funding can come from another NHDC budget.

frustratedThe residents are getting really angry because everyone says this is a priority and it has now become a political fight to allocate the funds, all we want is a date for then the work will be carried out, will it be six weeks, six months or six years? We are right in the middle of elections right now and we need to see how things are after that?

Our group is not affiliated to any political group we want to work with people who can help us, who do we need to talk to directly? When I am elected I work for all the residents even if they did not vote for me.It is still unclear how we can progress this at the moment, its also all tied up with the Letchworth Parking review

To separate this issue from the overall parking debate we run a resident survey on the single question of yellow lines; as this is of real concern in order to prevent accidents. We had a 100% response rate and the result was unanimously in favour of yellow lines, in addition every house holder signed and dated their approval, this is a clear mandate from residents and the council would unlikely find any opposition. We need something done now! We are looking at how we can make the council liable for any action arising out of their negligence should an accident happen. I have not seen the survey, can you send me the details please, that would add weight to our arguments

I agreed to send the survey results through again.

My impression from the conversation which lasted around 20min, was that Lorna was sympathetic but felt trapped with the political battle over which budget it should come from. Certainly a number of Councillors are positioning themselves as being on our side and looking after our interests while at the same time not doing much to get the issue resolved on our behalf.

We need to be more forceful, these are our elected Councillors who are there to take on the difficult issues and resolve them not park our parking issues.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=179

May 14

Next Residents Parking Meeting Sunday, 8th of June 18.00 – 19.30

Dear All,

We’ve scheduled the next parking meeting for:
Sunday, 8th of June
18.00 – 19.30
Rhonda and Stephen’s, no. 11

Tentative agenda:

• Junction Protection Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road and Funding
• Data Collection Results
• Letchworth Committee Meeting in June
• Residents’ Meeting with NHDC in July

Please let Rhonda and Stephen know by the 6th of June if you will be able to attend and if you have any other agenda items relating to parking. I’ll put an invitation through the letterboxes of those residents for whom I don’t have an email address.

Also, Councillor Kercher has confirmed she will be having a surgery on Saturday, the 17th of May, 10.00 – 12.00, Letchworth Town Centre, in front of Iceland. She is responsible for providing the funding out of her Locality Budget for the double yellow lines at Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road. She is also up for re-election this month.

Please continue to check the website for updates and please leave comments.

All the best,
Rhonda

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=176

May 08

Pre Consultation: Residents’ meeting with the NHDC on 1st of July, 18.00

A few places left:

The Council asked that we limit the number of residents at this meeting to 12 people, so we initially asked for one person per household. There are a few spaces left, so if 2 people from a household would like to attend, please Rhonda know as soon as possible.

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=174

May 08

Councillors’ Surgery

If you would like to speak to our local councillors regarding parking or any other issues (particularly before the May elections), they will be having a surgery in the town centre, across from Iceland, on
Saturday, the 17th of May
10.00 – 12.00

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=172

May 05

Important: Data Gathering Update.

Following the meeting at Amy and Colin’s house we are trying to get some numbers together regarding the parking capacity on the street and the types of users who park on our streets.

This is simply to give us some indication of the level of demand for the spaces. The data will allow us to be more informed when talking to the council and as residents we may be in a better position to determine how the proposed parking options will impact various groups and the likely change in behavior.

It is already clear that the demand out-strips the available space and any parking restrictions will simply exclude various groups from parking here, but there is a large demand from other groups who would simply take their place.

 

In order to understand the various groups we have devised some simple categories they are:

Residents: 

Trade: Anyone carrying out work for residents on the street, i.e gardeners, cleaners, deliveries,etc.

Workers: For people who are non residents who park most of the day to go to work, including commuters, people who work in the town centre, or nearby offices.

The data collection will be on a sample basis twice a day AM and PM

The data will be gathered and analysed to allow us to see the mix of parking users.

The data will be collected for one month in readiness for the PRE- pre-consultation meeting with NHDC.

If you have any questions then please comment on this post.

Regards Stephen Parry (Site Admin.)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=163

Apr 30

Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road Survey Results Unanimous

Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road Survey Results

Fantastic news! There was a 100% response rate!

Survey Question: Do you support junction protection / double yellow lines at the Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road junction?

All 28 households with a total of 50 signatures responded with a resounding, ‘YES, we want double yellow lines!’
Rhonda will be writing to the Council and Councillors Grindal (gary.grindal@north-herts.gov.uk), Sangha (Deepak.sangha@north-herts.gov.uk), and Kercher (lorna.kercher@hertfordshire.gov.uk) about the questionnaire and its mandate and encourages every resident to do the same.

We need to keep up the momentum and make sure the funding is secured and junction protection is implemented at the earliest possible date.

Thank you to everyone who responded and to Helen and Dave for survey distribution and results collection.

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=161

Apr 29

Give me DATA! Meeting on how we’ll collect data to understand the parking issues.

Data Collection Meeting
Amy’s house
19.00 hours
Thursday, 1st of May

This meeting has been called as we have no data regarding parking on our street, only anecdotal stories and hearsay. While these may be true, we can’t quantify it or make a case or even understand the true nature of the problem. So, residents are encouraged to attend and give feedback on how best to collect data on parking.  This is not to identify bad behaviour or individuals, but to understand the trends and the scale of the issue.

Please email Amy (amydavie52@hotmail.com) if you would like to attend.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=148

Apr 29

Missed Bin Collections: Veolia recorded only one access issue?

Response from Veolia regarding missed bins: they have only 1 incident recorded regarding missed bins on Rowan Crescent due to lack of access, which was on the 20 of March 2014. Was it the 27th of March? They log reasons for missed bins in their notes; they had to manually search through the comments in order to get this information.  It’s not easy to get, and frankly, I’m unsure of its accuracy. Does anyone have any information / corrections to add to this?

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=146

Apr 29

Sangha Yellow Lines, funding and timetable update

Rhonda received a reply from Councillor Sangha regarding the funding and time-scales to implement junction protection at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road. He wrote to L. Symes, NHDC, Strategic Planning and Projects Manager, asking her about these issues. She replied with the following:

• Meeting with Herts County Council regarding the funding and quotations for junction protection which will affect the time-scale.
• Progressing paperwork for the pre-consultation for junction protection.

 

Expecting more info from Councillor Sangha soon.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=144

Apr 29

Letter to Councillors ref Our Residents Survey

From: Rhonda
Sent: 29 April 2014
To: Cllr Gary Grindal; ‘Sangha, Deepak (UK)’; Louise Symes; lorna.kercher
Subject: Yes, we ALL want double yellow lines at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road!

Dear Councillors Grindal, Sangha, Kercher, and Ms. Symes,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for the support you have given to the residents of Rowan Crescent regarding junction protection at Rowan Crescent and Bedford Road.

Secondly, we wanted to inform you of the results of a questionnaire that we recently conducted. It included the Rowan Crescent households, 23 and 25 Bedford Road (on the junction) and 77 Cowslip Hill (on the junction). It asked:

Do you support junction protection / double yellow lines at the Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road junction?

We had a 100% response rate and it was unanimous. All 28 households with a total of 50 signatures responded with a resounding:

‘Yes, I do support having double yellow lines painted at the Rowan Crescent – Bedford Road junction.’

While we realise there must be a formal consultation process and funding secured, we wanted to make it clear that all residents on Rowan Crescent and those on the junctions want double yellow lines. We want this extremely dangerous junction to be made safer at the earliest possible date and hope that you will do whatever is needed to expedite this process.

Warm regards,
Rhonda Parry

Residents working together for a safer Rowan Crescent

 

Please see the attachment for the covering letter and survey with its options. It can also be found on the web site:

www.rowancrescent.com

 

Permanent link to this article: http://rowancrescent.com/?p=190

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