Developments pile pressure on street parking

Some residents of Maygrove and Iverson Roads are fed up with the increasingly difficult parking situation they face in light of all the new developments on these roads.

The local residents association, MILAM, wants to see a review of parking hours and is suggesting a sub-zone that has different rules to the CA-Q zone in which these streets sit. Specifically, it would like to see controls extending past 6.30pm.

CA-Q is a large zone that runs along Kilburn High Road from Quex Road all the way up to Cricklewood. It has controlled parking between 8.30am and 6.30pm. Camden is reluctant to sub-divide the zone although subdivisions are not unusual – there are already two within CA-Q. However, any change to zone rules inevitably has knock-on effects and therefore not everyone is automatically in favour of change.

CA-Q parking zone runs from Cricklewood to Kilburn

CA-Q parking zone runs from Cricklewood to Kilburn

Camden has said that for any review of parking it needs a petition signed by 800 residents of the affected parking zone. As it happens, a petition has already been set up by a resident of Maygrove Road. She was fed up of not being able to park as she used to before the recent developments opened. If you want to sign it (and you live or work in the CA-Q area) click here.

What’s the problem?
The new developments on Iverson and Maygrove – The Residence (91 units, Maygrove Rd), The Central (33 units, Iverson) and The Ivery (19 units, Iverson) – are designated “car free”, like every other new development in Camden. This creates a ‘carparteid’ between residents of new developments and existing residents.

“Car free” means no parking spaces for residents (although The Residence does offer some underground parking for disabled drivers) and in theory, these residents are also not allowed parking permits for street parking. However, as MILAM residents are finding, theory and reality are two different things. Some new residents appear able to get round controls; of course they can legally park outside the controlled hours, some can get hold of a blue badge for disabled drivers, it’s possible to get a local friend to register the car to get a permit, or to hire a local garage space, displacing another car onto the road that can legally obtain a permit, or use visitors’ permits.

Anecdotal evidence from longer-term residents such as Monica Regli, chair of MILAM, suggests that while there used to be spare parking spaces, these have filled up and people have started to park on single yellow lines.

@NW6_residents: Once again no parking for residents! Instead more arguments as not one-way!

@NW6_residents: Once again no parking for residents! Instead more arguments as not one-way!

Now the single yellow lines are filling up, which creates additional problems. Cars parking on the single yellow lines mean that traffic can no longer pull over on Maygrove Road to allow oncoming cars to pass. The result: cars getting stuck head-to-head and road rage incidents. According to Monica, there are now calls for Maygrove to become a one-way street.

@NW6_residents "Another horrendous morning in Maygrove road! Screaming arguments, reversing full length of road! Wake up @camdentalking #congestion #help!"

@NW6_residents “Another horrendous morning in Maygrove Road! Screaming arguments, reversing full length of road!”

Will it get worse?
Yes. Almost certainly. The new school on Liddell Road opens this September. At first it will be year one pupils only; but each year a new class will join. The head teacher won’t have to worry though, she gets her own parking space.

The problem is set to get worse still with phase two of Liddell Road (the flats and business space) as Camden seems to have ignored the GLA guidelines on parking. This development will have 106 residential units and 3700m2 of business space, which is approximately enough for 40-50 people. All served by two and a half disabled parking spaces.

Let’s not forget that West Hampstead Square is about to open with 196 new flats, and some employment space, and Camden will decide shortly on  156 West End Lane with most likely another 164 units and 1,800m2 of employment space. It’s true that many residents won’t have cars – car ownership in this part of London is very low, but it isn’t zero. The excellent transport links mean that employees can probably get to and from work on tube, train or bus, but firms have clients, deliveries and disabled employees.

It also seems unrealistic to think that none of these residents will have cars already, or may need a car for work (doctors, midwives, plumbers, etc.). Are more car club spaces the answer? Possibly, though demand is lower than you might think – West Hamsptead Square actually removed some car club spaces.

What are the objections to parking changes?
James Earl, chair of the Fordwych Road residents association (and of the Neighbourhood Development Forum) is not in favour of wholesale changes to the parking zone rules because of the possible knock on impact to other streets outside any sub-zone. A new resident of the Residence on Maygrove Road has also objected to any changes. She said that she was aware of the existing hours of parking control when she moved in, and that was fine, but any changes to hours now would be very problematic as her husband could no longer park!

MILAM is getting support from local councillors, Phil Rosenberg and James Yarde. Monica had hoped to put the issue as a deputation to the council, but was instead offered a chance to put the issue to a scrutiny committee.

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  • Fordwych Residents

    It’s also worth pointing out that there are a number of other options to tackle this problem – not just changing the restricted parking hours. Amongst other things, we’ve also discussed with the MILAM RA the possibility of making Maygrove Road one-way or making Maygrove Road a no through road, by blocking off the Kilburn High Road end of the road (as has happened on Garlinge Road). Clearly, the opening of the new school on Liddell Road/Place in September will (headteacher aside) make the situation much worse – so we are calling on the Council to act before then. James (Chair, FRA)

  • Toby

    I have never totally understood the rationale for the daytime restrictions. It
    would seem to be in the interest of both residents and daytime visitors (and
    therefore local shops) to have the parking restricted overnight rather than
    throughout the day. Locals then get the spaces
    they need when returning from work and visitors get to take advantage of the empty
    spaces to shop and eat on West End Lane.

    The issue of commuters driving to West Hampstead to then take the train could be
    alleviated through having a 3 hour parking restriction throughout daytime
    hours.

  • Giles Toman

    It does not help that planners intentionally make sure that big developments cannot have underground parking (fewer parking spaces means fewer cars means less pollution is their logic).

    But by doing this, they make everyone else’s lives a misery by piling in more people, some of whom WILL have cars, and thus put too much pressure on the existing residents parking.

    When giving planning permission for big blocks, why not insist that these include underground parking for the new residents? I mean, in a few years, we’ll all be driving zero emissions electric cars so the air pollution issue will no longer apply.

    • Inclined to agree – a real “smart city” move would be to allow visitors to WH to park in those car parks during the day as and when spaces were available. For a fee of course.

  • George Downton

    I am totally against MILAMs attempts to extend the hours of restricted parking for the following reasons.
    It is almost impossible to get large items delivered with the current restrictions (unless you pay over the odds at somewhere like John Lewis). On several occasions I have taken the day off work
    for a delivery only to get a call/text saying ‘sorry can’t deliver, can’t park’. Buying scratchcards is no good as the truck doesn’t fit in the bay so a ticket can be issued for that reason (I know, as a truck driver, I get them). There are no single yellow lines on Iverson Road. I currently have to pay extra to have Sat/eve deliveries.

    I do not own a car but many of my visitors come from outside of London, with 5 people in a car it is much cheaper to drive than pay extortionate train fares. MILAM – a group set up to oppose a school and protect the comforts of a middle class elite