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Barnet Council takes action over Hampstead Garden Suburb's CPZ battle

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 July 2013 | UPDATED: 19:04 22 July 2013

Parking is contentious in Barnet, as demonstrated by East Finchley residents who took their legal battle to the High Court earlier this month. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Parking is contentious in Barnet, as demonstrated by East Finchley residents who took their legal battle to the High Court earlier this month. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

Hampstead Way is a residential road running through the heart of Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Over the last year, the arterial thoroughfare and the roads branching it have become a battleground fuelled by the spectre of controlled parking zones (CPZs).

At one end of Hampstead Way residents reside within a CPZ, restricting parking between 11am and noon on weekdays to permit holders only.

These residents reap the rewards of a CPZ, basking in the airy comfort of a road free from congestion and parked cars.

At the other end, neighbours living outside the CPZ face an ungodly fight each day to find a parking space outside their homes. Last year, these residents called on Barnet Council to survey the Suburb about the prospect of extending the CPZ to combat the scourge of all-day parking from Tube commuters and workers in Temple Fortune.

And last month, following a widespread consultation, the council decided to extend the CPZ in Hampstead Way and to surrounding roads, including Willifield Way, Meadway and Temple Fortune Hill.

The decision was made in the face of 163 objections, as well as a petition signed by 85 residents of Willifield Way and Temple Fortune Hill asking Barnet Council to reconsider the CPZ plans.

They argue there is no need for a CPZ incorporating their roads as space is plentiful and costly parking permits are unjustified.

Katherine Trigg, 50, of Willifield Way, reflects an opinion widely held on her street, explaining: “There is no problem, we can always park, so there is no need for a CPZ. It’s unnecessary and just a money-making scheme.”

But in a report presented to Finchley and Golders Green area environment sub-committee last month, council officers insisted the CPZ should be introduced in roads beyond Hampstead Way in order to “protect those roads from any displacement of parking” when the CPZ is introduced.

For those Hampstead Way residents who currently bear the brunt of all-day parking outside their homes, the CPZ cannot be introduced too quickly.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “In this part of the Suburb we do suffer from commuter parking. If we go out, we can’t get back – we have to park up the road.”

Another resident, who also did not wish to be named, said: “We were reluctant to see a CPZ – it’s not very neighbourly – but over the last few years the traffic around here has become diabolical.

“We have to be careful what time we go out and come back so that there will be a parking space when we return.”

Suburb councillor Andrew Harper has heard passionate arguments on both sides of the feud but is satisfied a conclusion has now been reached.

“I am content that a decision has been taken and that a bunch of problems will now, hopefully, be solved,” he said.

The CPZ extension, set to cost around £50,000 to implement, is due to be introduced in the autumn and will forbid parking for non-permit holders between 1pm and 2pm on weekdays.

It follows a judicial review earlier this month from East Finchley residents accusing Barnet Council of illegally hiking CPZ charges to increase revenue.

Today, High Court judge Mrs Justice Lang ruled on the side of the residents, concluding that the council had acted unlawfully by hiking parking charges in April 2011 to pay for other transport projects.

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