Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of witnesses (Questions 440 - 451)



  440.  What obstacles are there?
  (Mr Turner)  I think the obstacles are the conflict between providing bus lanes, which is probably the best way of providing priority, and the conflict with the frontage activity associated with loading, etcetera.

  441.  How do you resolve that?
  (Mr Turner)  What we have tried to do on the red routes is to share the space by putting in bus lanes where they are needed for buses in the peak hours and in the inter-peak periods allowing loading activity to take place. It works quite well. I think the other thing that you need to do is to pick the difficult locations like approaching the traffic signals and provide specially designed facilities. As I mentioned in the submission, there is an example at Liverpool Road, near the Angel where the buses go through the traffic signals in advance of all the other traffic. The benefits there are very substantial indeed.

  442.  You have got some indicators, have you, to measure the success?
  (Mr Turner)  Yes. We give examples in the submission—para.3.2.3.

  443.  Have you got specific evidence on the results of using the bus cameras?
  (Mr Turner)  In terms of the number——

  444.  The scheme that you did in North London, can you demonstrate with specific indicators what results you produced?
  (Mr Turner)  We can demonstrate how many tickets we are issuing. What we have not done is to refer it back to the compliance rates because the policy is to introduce this system London-wide to act as a deterrent.

  445.  It would be useful to know the results.
  (Mr Turner)  It is going to come, but it is too early to determine the deterrent effect.

  446.  You will, however, remember to tell us when you find out?
  (Mr Turner)  I will.

  447.  We would like to know what you meant when you were talking about artificial parking restrictions that do not have public acceptance and also, very briefly, I think we would need to know what levels of workplace parking and congestion charges might be necessary in somewhere like London in order to restrain car use significantly.
  (Mr Lester)  In terms of what we called artificial restrictions, it is very clear from evidence over a long time, particularly evidence produced by the University of Westminster, that motorists are much more prepared to comply with regulations and restrictions when it is apparent what their purpose is. If you get a narrow busy road with double yellow lines on each side it is very clear to people why they should not stop there. If, on the other hand, you get double yellow lines on each side of a wide not very busy road, particularly that with frontage activity on either side, motorists will want to stop there because they have business and they will not understand why they should not be allowed to stop there and that causes increasing difficulties in enforcement and it is one of the reasons why we think it is absolutely essential that any controls on trip ends, whether it is the workplace parking levy or any other reductions, are combined with reallocations of the road space so that that wide and not particularly busy road, for example, might have a bus lane down it or if it was a wider shopping street it might have wider pavements or a cycle lane or use the capacity for pedestrians.

  448.  You are saying you take people with you and they understand what you are doing?
  (Mr Lester)  Absolutely.
  (Mr Turner)  That has been demonstrated on the red routes in that previously there was a total ban, in theory at least, of parking on the yellow lines throughout the working day, but by reviewing metre by metre the way the road operates it has been possible to provide so far over 2,300 short-term parking spaces and still achieve the benefits that we have achieved. That compliments what Mr Lester was saying.

  449.  I think that is very helpful. Do you think local authorities ought to put more emphasis on enforcing parking restrictions in the evenings and on Sundays?
  (Mr Lester)  I think it is becoming increasingly important in the evenings and on Sundays where there is increasing activity. Sunday is now the second or third busiest shopping day of the week and for that reason the number of controls on parking on Sundays in town centres is increasing. Westminster, for example, is planning to introduce Saturday afternoon and Sunday controls and that will happen over this next year. Other town centres have already done this. One of the benefits of the decriminalised regime is that local authorities know that there is no purpose whatsoever in introducing regulations if they are not prepared to enforce them.

  450.  I need to know about workplace parking congestion charges. What do you think we are going to have to charge in London to make sure that car use is really restrained?
  (Mr Lester)  We have not got any detailed figures that we can give you, but what I can say and what I have pointed out in the memorandum is that the value to an individual of having a free reserved parking space at work in central London may be as much as £5,000 a year tax free. Whether you would need to charge that much to deter the use of cars is another question, but that is an indication of the benefit.

  451.  Have you done any work on it? Have you any estimate at all?
  (Mr Lester)  We have not done any work on it directly.

Chairman:  You have both been very helpful. Thank you very much indeed.

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