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2010-08-18 - 23:51:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: Transport: Road |

In my previous post I wrote an open letter to Lynne Feathersone about her proposed ban on the enforcement of parking controls on private grounds; specifically on private estates.

Where I live – in a small flat in a mansion block with a wonderful view looking over central London – is within such a private estate. It is pretty large: there are over 600 flats (apartments) and a similar number of houses, spread over a good-sized area of land, and there are two road entrances (except in bad weather when more side gates may get opened) and while each mansion block had an entryphone system installed about ten years ago it would be financially impossible to install something similar from every home across the estate to the top and bottom gates. The top one has an automated barrier fitted which closes automatically each night around 11pm and opens around 10am, although between those hours it will rise to let you leave the estate or you can enter with a 'beeper' which you can rent from the estate management committee for £50.

The lower gate is closed a few times each year for a few hours so that the 'private' nature of the roads can be legally enforced and maintained. At these times (and on the evening of Halloween) one of the estate staff stop vehicles and pass them through if they have a valid reason to be on the estate. But it wouldn't be a practical option to have a 24/7 attendant on the gate (though, as it happens, there used to be one in the 1930s when the estate was built, as there was also a pony and trap to bring people up the hill to their home from that main lower entrance.)

So returning to that post, Lynne and I engaged in a 'conversation' yesterday via twitter, and this is a record of that interaction.

lfeatherstone: Holly Lodge has gates-first defence-and ticketing better alternative which is properly regulated and a proportionate punishment

alisonw: Two gates, neither staffed. Top closed 11pm-11am otherwise open, bottom always open. No deterrent therefore. Thx for reply.

alisonw: plus a ticket has no effect on a dumped vehicle, which has been the major problem in the past.

lfeatherstone: duumped vehicles can be removed if no tax etc. Why don't you close gates? No need to answer - but seems the logical way forward

alisonw: sometimes (amazingly) dumped vehicles still have tax discs on display. Closing gates if few homes is fine but not if 600+

lfeatherstone: well - ticketing is an adequate 'punishment' for what is, after all, a parking offence

alisonw: except that the legal & actual effectiveness of a privately-issued 'ticket'is very close to zero so minimal effect.

And that is where we've currently left it. I still feel that the current proposal is going to lead to serious problems. It is sensible where the area to be managed is small enough to be gated in a controlled manner, but not for the large-size residential estates so common across London.



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