Sunday 2 June 2013

What We Have Achieved So Far.

The Barnet CPZ Action group has been quite quiet over the past months while we wait for next month's court hearing, so we thought we'd remind you of some of the things we have achieved:

1. It took a long time, but, back in the autumn, the Council made an important concession when they introduced half day visitor vouchers.  Priced at £2.20 each, they are still expensive - some residents in neighboring boroughs pay as little as 60p for visitor parking.  But £2.20 is a lot better that £4.16.  For residents living in zones with 1 hour restrictions, the cost of visitor parking has been nearly halved.

2. The council has also not implemented some additional CPZ increases put forwarded by Councillor Brian Coleman before he lost his cabinet position on the council.  Councillor Coleman wanted to make CPZ residents pay £20 when they changed their car as well as wanting to charge for temporary parking dispensations when, for example, a resident uses a courtesy car for a few days.  Following Brian Coleman's emphatic defeat at the London Assembly elections, the Council realised that these unfair policies risked bringing the council into the disrepute.

3. Anger over Brain Coleman's damaging parking policies (remember he also hiked parking charges on the High Street and removed "pay and display" machines) were a major factor behind his London Assembly defeat.

4. We learnt that the CPZ charges the council introduced were far higher than those recommended by its own consultants who the council had appointed to advise on this very question.

5. Did Barnet Council think that, because CPZs are spread out across disparate parts of the borough, there wouldn't be any effective opposition to the charges?  If so, they were wrong.  Our campaign has united CPZ residents, and many non-CPZ residents, from all corners of the borough.

6. The campaign has featured on national and local TV and radio and in the national and local press. We've helped raise awareness of the problems CPZ residents face through being a captive market.  

7. We've assembled a quality legal team to take the case forward under "no-win, no fee" agreements, reflecting their confidence in the case.  Thanks to a supporter who obtained internal council papers under the Freedom of Information Act, we also learnt that the council are confident WE will win. Council papers record  a Barnet CPZ Action victory at court to be "likely".  

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