Simon Walters, Director of Communities and Environment
a. presented a report to outline the position in relation to the councils current approach to tackling verge parking and to suggest a pilot intervention on selected major bus routes where the impact was most acute.
b. gave the background to the report advising that verge parking had been a concern of some Members for a long time, and the City Councils approach to tackling the issues had been reviewed on a number of occasions in the past.
c. advised that following recent reports from Stagecoach they were experiencing difficulties navigating a few selected areas on public bus routes due to the presence of parked vehicles.
d. referred to Appendix A of the report and highlighted the work completed in September 2018 to review the then current situation.
e. advised that since the work undertaken in 2018 two important influencing factors had emerged:
· Stagecoach had confirmed that they had found it necessary to alter their route/ operating methodology in three locations – Roman Pavement, Trelawny Crescent and Broxholme Gardens due to the prevalence of parked cars preventing the safe passage of buses.
County Council were in the process of developing a Transport
Strategy for Lincoln. Whilst the results had not been released, it
was envisaged that over time the aspiration would be to reduce the
reliance on cars and move to more sustainable modes of
f. referred to paragraph 3.3 of the report and advised the above issues suggested that:
· a focus of any intervention work should be on ensuring vital services such as bus routes be maintained within Local Communities.
· Large-scale investment over a period of years to tackle verge parking may not be the right solution in the long term.
g. referred to paragraph 4.1 of the report and advised that the Assistant Director of Housing, had commenced an engagement process with both Stagecoach and County Council Highways to explore options for removing the problematic parking at these locations and open them up to bus travel again.
h. advised that officers would also continue to use the techniques employed to date as detailed at paragraph 4.2 of the report.
i. referred to paragraph 4.6 of the report and advised that the issue could be considered by Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee who could assess the issue against other estate improvement demands within the Housing Revenue Account.
j. referred to paragraph 5.1 of the report and explained the financial implications to the Council.
k. referred to paragraph 5.1 of the report and explained the legal measures that could be implemented and explained whilst they were legally feasible it was not a practical solution.
The Director of Housing updated that there were ongoing discussions with Lincolnshire County Council Highways. A joint site visit had taken place to look at the 3 areas affected by changes to the bus routes. There was the potential for double yellow lines to be placed in the next 6 months. However, reassurance that this would be done was still being sought from Lincolnshire County Council.
The Director of Housing further presented a GIS map of the City and explained that the vast majority of the roads within the city were owned by Lincolnshire County Council and not within the City Council’s remit. He re-iterated that the problem areas that were affecting bus routes were being identified and solutions were being sought in those areas to get services re-established. This would then provide time to look at other areas within the housing estates to try other solutions such as leaflet drops.
The committee discussed contents of the report and raised the following main points:
Question: Should this be included within the Tenancy Agreement?
Response: The Tenancy Agreement could be looked at to see if there was anything already included within it.
Comment: A survey should be sent out to one of the areas such as St Giles or the Ermine to find out what residents would like doing to tackle this.
Comment: It was a major issue for residents and was regularly raised with Councillors.
Question: The County Council used to put in dropped kerbs for a £100 charge to residents, why could this not be done?
Response: Officers could ask the County Council this, however, it was not currently a priority for them.
Comment: Each area of the city was different and different solutions were needed in different areas.
Response: The housing estates were not designed for the number of cars that we had today. The consequences could be that the problems were moved elsewhere as people still needed to park their cars. If more parking was created then green space would be lost.
Question: Could the enforcement be outsourced to an external company?
Response: This could be looked into.
The Director of Housing summed up the discussion that had taken place and suggested the following action:
· Refer to Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee and engage with the Lincoln Tenants Panel (LTP) to work on this.
· Choose an estate to run a pilot scheme to find out what action worked and what didn’t.
· Complete a survey in the pilot area to find out what residents would like to see.
· Complete a leaflet drop in the pilot area.
· Look at the cost of dropped kerbs and the impact on grounds maintenance.
· Look at the Tenancy Agreement to see if there was anything robust relating to parking.
· Following the pilot work with LTP, bring back to Members for consideration.
1. The proposed approach to tackling problem verge parking in the areas that affected major bus routes as identified be supported.
2. The issue be referred to Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee to consider the impact after trial interventions had been undertaken to assess its further application, subject to funding with the 30 year business plan.