Parking in Courthouse Gardens and Courthouse Road

Post date: Mar 6, 2018 10:54:53 PM

The WFRA and the West Finchley Councillors have been pursuing this matter and trying to prod the Highways Officers to action. The latest news that WFRA had from the Councillors was that Officers were preparing a plan which should go to committee within the next two months (council business will be put on hold for a period prior to the local Council Elections on May 3) and then put out to statutory consultation. We will all have a chance to comment before a final plan is agreed and implemented. As residents of these roads know, this has been an ongoing issue for some time. On Tuesday, 3 May 2016 the WFRA held an open meeting for residents to meet with Councillors and Council officers.

It took another 17 months (there was a general election and referendum in between) before we managed an on-site meeting with Highways Officers and Councillors and representatives of WFRA on 31 October 2017. We were able to look at the appalling commuter parking and this was the time when the bus became stuck because of parked cars. Various ideas were explored including pavement parking, yellow line enforcement, CPZ, speed bumps and speed limits. Below you will find the note sent out by the WFRA following the on-site meeting.

In the meantime, the WFRA completed an audit of commuter parking on Courthouse and on the nearby roads on two weekdays by counting parked cars at 5am and again at 3pm. These figures (see below) were given to Councillors and Officers.

The WFRA will notify residents of any further developments but please come back to the website at any time to find further information.

Kieran Kettleton (WFRA Chair – 6 March 2018)

Note to Courthouse Road and Courthouse Gardens residents regarding parking discussions

Officers from Barnet Council Highways department, along with Councillor Kath McGurk and three residents met on 31 October at Courthouse Gardens and Road to follow up on the open meeting on 3 May 2016.

Key points from meeting on 3 May 2016:

• Speeding – Request for 20mph Zone

• Request for parking controls to remove commuter parking (possible CPZ)

• Maintain the current level of on-street parking

• The double yellow lines proposals were not supported except at junctions.

• Parking and speeding enforcement required to improve safety

Further comments from residents prior to the meeting of 31 October 2017:

  • TOTAL AGREEMENT that there should be yellow lines on the corner of Nethercourt/Courthouse (and also Chesterfield/Brent Way/Fursby Avenue) with universal request for urgent action on these two junctions – as a safety issue. For the motorist the view is very restricted and for a pedestrian with a pushchair it’s impossible to even find space between the parked cars to cross Nethercourt Avenue in particular
  • Residents do not want yellow lines on one side of Courthouse Road and Gardens to restrict parking
  • Overwhelming majority of residents who had expressed views do not want a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ)
  • Welcome to parking partially on the designated bays on pavement certainly from 21 Courthouse Gardens onwards.
  • Maintaining the current levels of on street parking refers to resident p[arking NOT commuter parking. (See parking statistics below).
  • Issues with people parking over pavement crossovers (calling parking control often does not result in prompt action)
  • Traffic wardens to patrol more regularly (eg once per day) and issue tickets for illegal parking
  • We are concerned that any measures introduced should not involve effectively creating a wider carriageway and only encourage greater use of the road as a 'rat run' with increased traffic speeds and by even larger vehicles. Car-parking on the road has the benefit of slowing vehicles down and thus making the road safer for residents. This 'natural' traffic calming should not be underestimated.
  • The decorative red brick paving on the kerbside contributes to the appearance of the streetscape and should not be removed to allow for formalised parking on the roadside
  • The current parking prevents buses from stopping safely even though it is a “hail and ride” section
  • Buses go far too fast and often if there are two buses from different directions it becomes a problem for them to pass each other.
  • Bus stop markings at the Courthouse Gardens bus stops currently have double yellow lines but that doesn’t stop blue badge holders (and often other motorists) from parking in the bus stop – increasing dangerous crossing for passengers.
  • General support for 20mph zone. (Recognised that this is not part of Highways initiative)
  • Any possibility of local signage to deter engine idling on Courthouse Gardens would also be appreciated.

It is assumed that some of those residents parked overnight use their cars to go to work so that the figure of 93 during the day time is not just 30 commuters but also other commuters replacing some of the residents’ cars that have left for work.

Next Steps

Officers from Highways will take back the views of residents and prepare proposals. This may take as long as 6 months though they hope it might be sooner. Any proposals will be published for further consultation before going to Committee for final decisions. The whole process may take another 12 months.

PS We couldn’t have staged it!

While we were gathered on Courthouse Road two 326 buses travelling in opposite directions came face to face. One of the buses proceeded to reverse. A driver following the bus seemed oblivious to the bus reversing. One of the Highways officers had to leap into the road to direct traffic as more and more cars came up behind the reversing bus and had to be shunted into any spare passing places that could be found! Point made.

Kieran Kettleton (WFRA Chair - 5 November 2017)