The introduction of new pay to park schemes in dozens of roads is creating a great divide between neighbouring streets with those with permit parking empty and those without overrun with cars.
The displacement since the introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone in Princess and Pawsons roads has had a massive impact on adjacent streets with residents claiming they have “lost their freedom” and “feel trapped in their homes.”
Residents fear that the parking chaos will get even worse if the council approves proposals by Lakehall Road residents which could result in the introduction of controlled parking in 10 roads including Bensham Lane, and Frant Road.
Steve Triner who lives in Sandringham Road, said: “These photos show how Sandringham Road is jammed up but look at all of the empty spaces in neighbouring roads. There are more empty spaces than parked cars in Princess Road. It’s a ridiculous situation created by the council who don’t seem to have any coherent plan for car parking in Thornton Heath.
“We now need a CPZ because neighbouring streets have them. We need a Croydon north strategy for CPZs not this chaotic and stressful street by street roll out.”
Parking has become a hot issue across Thornton Heath. The majority of Victorian terraced family houses only have on street parking and households, often have more than one car because adult children live at home because they can’t afford to rent or buy.
Many more houses have been converted in to Houses of Multiple Occupancy and increasing numbers of new builds given planning permission without any parking.
The introduction of the CPZ in the Princess Road area was recommended to the council’s Traffic Management Advisory Committee in July.
In order for a scheme to be introduced the council needs a petition from a minimum of 50 per cent of the road or area to instigate informal consultation even though in Pawsons Road the response was 35 per cent in favour.
If there is majority support for a scheme, the council then advertises the proposed restrictions, allowing a period for members of the public to formally object to proposals, before the scheme can be implemented.
A resident who lives in Princess Road, where 55 per cent voted in favour said: “We were told that if the majority did not back a CPZ then it could not be implemented, but congestion was so bad I can’t think what other solution there would have been. I wasn’t happy paying but there became no other option, sadly.”
Most schemes operate a pay and display 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday and permit holders can park all day with residents purchasing a yearly £110 permit.
Stuart King, cabinet member for parking, said: “The council is aware that displacement from the scheme has had an effect in a number of nearby roads and is working with the local councillors to test whether an extension to the CPZ is desired by residents in these roads.
“The problem we face in trying to pre-empt displacement by introducing controlled parking into an area before it begins to experience parking pressure, is that residents accuse the council of trying to impose controls in order to raise revenue.
“In order to try and share parking space more equitably we no longer allow more than two permits per household and new housing developments receiving planning permission do so with conditions attached that exclude future occupants from eligibility for parking permits.
“We support the ambitions of the Mayor for London to reduce car ownership and usage. Our proposals include significant improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure, an enhanced bus service (we have a commitment from TFL to review bus services in North of the borough), as well as a longer term goal to expand our tram network.”