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Liverpool: One giant car park?

Larry Neild with a Liverpool Confidential exclusive on how parking permits everywhere could herald a whole new golden era for traffic wardens

Published on September 1st 2009.

Liverpool: One giant car park?

AROUND 100 Liverpool communities have joined a queue for residents’ parking schemes, determined to live by the maxim, An Englishman’s home is his car space.

It presents the prospect of virtually the entire city be coming a huge private car park.

I’ve never recognised the right to park outside my own home, on the basis that I don’t own the street space

Makes me wonder whether this is a clever ploy to drive most cars off the roads. So many parking schemes will mean as soon as you leave your own parking preserve, you will instantly become a visitor to somebody else’s parking area – where you won’t be able to park. That will make cars redundant.

What has driven the race for parking schemes are daily battles and clashes around hospitals, colleges and universities. Residents are sick and tired of seeing their streets blocked by cars owned by staff, patients and students.So the city council has drawn up a huge parking scheme for the roads around Broadgreen Hospital. It will ban everyone, except permit-holding residents and their visitors (permits permitting) from parking in the streets.

The aim is to see how the Broadgreen scheme runs before expanding it to other areas on the waiting list.

The cheapest option would see parking banned from whole streets which would be declared residential parking zones. It would avoid the need for expensive bays and yellow lines and intensive signage.

And while residents’ parking schemes may seem to be the answer to the daily problem of congested streets, families need to be aware there is a downside.The first one springing to mind is this: if there are 100 areas where people are banned from parking, as soon as you leave your own street you’ll have a problem parking in the other 99 zones.

It seems a poor trade off for the convenience of parking outside your own front door.

Family events, such as birthday parties, anniversaries and even funerals, will have to be organised with military precision to avoid revellers, celebrants and mourners being booked by waiting wardens.

Each visiting car will have to display a visitor's permit, valid for one day – whether it is five minutes or 24 hours of parking. Even tradespeople – plumbers, electricians etc, will get a ticket without a visitor permit.

Currently, Liverpool council issues free booklets of parking permits to residents, to enable their visitors to park for free. But there is talk of charging for more than a couple of books a year – and that could mean something like £10 for a book.

To be fair to the council, should taxpayers stump up the cost of organising and running residents’ car parking schemes? As more “private parking schemes are added to the growing list, it will impose a substantial financial burden on the council. The total cost could run into millions of pounds.

It would be understandable if the council insisted people wanting a parking scheme in their communities should pay for it. In many cases residents need street parking because their households have two or three cars.

I would vote against such schemes as the inconvenience of the current free-for-all is preferable to the daily restrictions of an enforceable parking scheme. I’ve never recognised the right to park outside my own home, on the basis that I don’t own the street space.

The solution is to have greater enforcement of existing rules prohibiting the blocking of driveways and entrances, or double parking.

Some areas, particularly in inner London, already charge residents for car parking permits. How long before councillors here do the same?

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21 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

scrittipolittiSeptember 1st 2009.

Why residents only parking? Extending property to those who merely own an adjacent house strikes me as privatisation of public space, not fighting for citizens rights. Poor people with cars? Don't you think that is an oxymoron?

ADSeptember 1st 2009.

They do this near to the football grounds, there is one street made over to residents parking despite the fact that there are no houses on it at all. I just think the council want us all on their (awful) buses and trains. which makes little sense for football matches as the drivers dont drink and are more likely to be well behaved fans... About broadgreen there is at least one cemetary there are we supposed to pick up a £60 penalty for the privalage of burying loved ones?

Tesco TearawaySeptember 1st 2009.

When we used to have proper Traffic Wardens who enforced the law rather than today's 'parking attendants who extort money for their private-sector employers, it was possible to park anywhere in town after five or six o'clock unless your car caused an obstruction in which case you'd quite rightly have the police to deal with. It was brilliant for late opening on Thursdays and in the late-night shopping in the run-up to Christmas. Of course, the Council's policy of narrowing and closing roads has resulted in ghost streets of abandoned shops in what used to be vibrant and properous trading areas of the city centre. The Council isn't managing Liverpool's decline with their unhinged planning policies, but accelerating it.

Lada LadSeptember 1st 2009.

I never pay more than £100! Driving is far cheaper than bus fares. The drive through the tunnel costs £1.40 or less. The same short journey on a bus is £2.20! Crazy world!

DigSeptember 1st 2009.

How much can you afford Queeny Eye? I have cars to suit most budgets here. Free parking here and only a 10 minute walk to the city centre. Forget expensive city centre car parks. There's plenty of free parking around the outskirts of the centre. You just need to know where.

TourmanSeptember 1st 2009.

In the 1970s when there were far less cars on the road it was possible to park any where out side of the Tithebarn St, Lime St Berry St and Duke St area for free. Now that there are far more cars on the road there is far more limited and expensive parking. It is just a con to rob the motorist and it is time we stood for the council on a motoring tick and cleared the streets of all the insane restrictions and at the same time give the pavements back to the pedestrian. Lime St is a complete fiasco and any City Planner who tells me it is not is not fit to be in a job.

DontParkHereSeptember 1st 2009.

One of my neighbours leaves intimidating notes for owners daring to park in 'his'space outside his front door. It seems to work, which is why I want to move away from a street where intimidation rules. I'm trying to pluck up courage to let his tyres down when I leave. Lets face it, car parking at home is already being eyed up as the next big cash cow for the councils.

jeremy ClarksonSeptember 1st 2009.

I agree with Tesco Tearaway,Cllr Melias jackboots marching around the City extorting money off everyone. But you have not seen anything yet. It is going to get worse. I suggest you many readers do a search on the following; 1. WORKPLACE PARKING LEVY- a nice little earner for the many firms in the area, who will be able to charge employees to park and collect the money themselvese, A tax on going to work 2. MerseysideSustainable Travel City Bid. these schemes are being put together now to do in the car user. this is being led by Labour controlled Merseytravel

Blue BadgerSeptember 1st 2009.

With the council driving many (iffy) Blue Badge holders off the roads parking spaces will soon be plentiful in the city centre. Yippie.

StreetParkerSeptember 1st 2009.

I bet many of the areas demanding on-street parking are the leafy suburbs where they have 2 or 3 cars and need street space as well as their driveways. I also bet most of these areas are in LibDem land, so they'll get approved, leaving the rest of us to pay the bill. The solution is to stop households have a handful of cars.

Sir Howard WaySeptember 1st 2009.

The whingeing rich living at the town end of Canning Street didn't like commuters parking in their street and walking into town, even though many of the owners of these expensive houses had their own garages around the back and were unaffected.Consequently a residents-only parking scheme was introduced five years ago and imposed on the poor end of the street as well whether we liked it or not, with implications for our visitors, tradesmen, etc.

Shanks ponySeptember 1st 2009.

I grew up in a walk with no parking so have never had the novelty of parking right outside my house. I now live in a narrow terraced street where it's every man for himself, which doesn't bother me. If I can't park right outside my own house, I park outside someone else's & walk the few yeards home or sometimes have to park on a different street altogether. However you will always get people who think it is their right to park at their own doorstep- on my first day as I was moving in, a vile man from a few doors down knocked & without even saying 'hello' demanded I move my car so he could park closer to his house, with no regard to the fact I was getting all my possessions out of the car to move in. It was hardly the 'welcome to the neighbourhood' complete with freshly baked casserole that new residents to Ramsey Street get. I empathise with 'DontParkHere' above- it is the intimidating people who think they and their car are more important than everyone else that will welcome these types of plans & shoot themselves in the foot when they try to leave their own restricted street.

queeny eyeSeptember 1st 2009.

I could never afford a £5000 car. Concerned of Liverpool is living in another world

Liverpool LouSeptember 1st 2009.

Poor people with cars - an oxymoron! No! Just think your idea of poverty is something out of Dickens. With the huge gap between the rich and the rest of us, I think you have to earn a considerable amount of money to get out of the poor category. We pay our bills, have cars, but I still consider that we are relatively poor for example we couldn't afford to go on holiday abroad, which people seem to think as their right these days. I think it is all a bit relative really.By the way Wirral Council offered us the chance to have a residents parking scheme, but it would have cost a huge amount of money to have a permit (which they said they would need to charge to pay for the extra wardens needed to police it) and they would reduce the parking available, which would lead some residents with nowhere to park their cars. Needless to say we threw it out.

Isla CapriSeptember 1st 2009.

Not only do people have no right to expect to park on the road outside their house, in law they have no right to park on any public road AT ALL!

Jeremy ClarksonSeptember 1st 2009.

In congested Japan you are not permitted to buy a car unless you have somewhere to park it off-road at home. We should do this here too.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2009.

This seems like a sensible approach, I for one have been late for work on my occasions as an insenstve student has decided to park across me drive way. However if people were considereate a did not park in places that are clearly outside peoples homes especially at times were maybe they need to get oin with prams /shopping etc and where there are other spaces not outside of homes then maybe we would not need to resort to these measure but alas as I know too well we do

Concerned of LiverpoolSeptember 1st 2009.

O Queenie Eye, Queenie I live in your world. I was taking the p...

Concerned of LiverpoolSeptember 1st 2009.

scritti, shame about your last two sentences - I believe your point is very significant. And, these days, believe it or not, if one looks in the right showrooms, one can find quite serviceable cars economically priced, some for as little as £5000; which quite empowers all but the very poorest.unfortunates.

Live FreeSeptember 1st 2009.

Street Parker - you're hilarious. Ban People from having more than one car? Where are we Communist China?? Let's stop em having more than one kid as well - drown all girls at birth.I know everyone should live in High Rise Flats as well!Good Grief!!

Hugo2008September 1st 2009.

I see no harm in residents only parking, I want to see Merseyside Residents given dispensation for Mersey Tunnel Fees, the tunnel charges are a completly unfair local tax and should be reduced for rate payers.

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