Residents’ Parking Scheme in Milman Road, Mitcham Close and Spring Gardens

Phoenix-Fabelwesen

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of outrage over the University and Hospital areas parking study earlier this year, is the residents’ parking scrutiny review.

Residents of Reading’s many parking scheme areas may wish to write to the chair of the review, councillor Tony Jones, with:

  • feedback on the current scheme,
  • what they think works well,
  • what doesn’t work well,
  • what they’d like to see change.

Milman Road and Mitcham Close are part of residents’ parking scheme zone 10R. They form an island within the zone that also includes Essex Street and part of Boults Walk. Spring Gardens, a cul-de-sac leading off Milman Road, is not part of the zone. Apart from Morgan Road, the whole zone is within the boundaries of Katesgrove Ward, although not all of Katesgrove is covered by residents’ parking schemes.

Pressure on parking in the street increased when New Christ Church Primary School expanded into the Christchurch Centre and extended it to become classroom accommodation and a new school hall. As well as reducing the size of the car park attached to the centre, school restriction markings meant that there were less unrestricted parking spaces on Spring Gardens. To ease the parking pressure on local residents’ ability to park during the day, changes were made to the Milman Road scheme around this time. An area of the road was made residents only,  whereas previously the whole street was permit holders or two hours only during the day.

The Whitley Pump spoke to a parking warden when out researching this story who said that the instructions on the shared parking sign often caused confusion. Parking for non-residents is allowed in these spaces for two hours during the day between 8am and 8pm. Evening and overnight parking is only for residents.

Milman Road is also the location of a busy health centre and pharmacy. The pharmacy is currently undergoing building work which has reduced parking in the surgery car park for the duration of the works. When complete, the car park should include two additional drop off bays.

Parking problems abound on the street which is exacerbated by traffic chaos at school drop off and pick up times, when there are lorry deliveries and busy times at the surgery and pharmacy.

The Whitley Pump submitted a freedom of information request to Reading Borough Council to ask questions about the parking places available and parking permits issued for Milman Road.

We were told that there were 47 parking places:

  • Milman Road 42,
  • Mitcham Close 5,
  • Spring Gardens 0.

We were told that 64 permits had been issued:

  • 57 free residents permits,
  • 5 second residents permits,
  • 2 other charged permits.

The following categories of permits had been issued:

Charity permits are a category of discretionary permit which can be issued for a variety of reasons. In addition, doctor and healthcare professional permits had been issued to businesses or residents with addresses on Milman Road.

There are different rules governing each category of permit. Healthcare professional and medical practitioner permit rules include the following:

A healthcare professional permit is not valid for use while you are working at or visiting your practice or usual place of work.

The medical practitioner permit allows parking in the marked doctor’s permit bays. (The healthcare professional permits are not allowed to park in the doctor’s permit bays).

A stark statistic emerges immediately; there are 47 parking spaces on Milman Road and Mitcham Close for which 64 parking permits have been issued, a shortfall in spaces available of 17. The streets are operating at 136% of parking capacity. Consequently if everybody is at home wanting to park there will not be enough spaces for their cars.

In October 2015, Reading Borough Council published the annual parking services report  2014/15. This stated that there were 1,210 parking spaces on street and 1,174 parking permits for the whole of zone 10R; a surplus of supply over demand of 36 spaces. The zone was operating at 97% of parking capacity.

The deadline to participate in the residents’ parking review is 14 October 2016.

The terms of reference and reasons for establishing the review group were agreed at the traffic management sub committee on 15 June 2016.

Comments should be e-mailed to Tony Jones at tony.jones@reading.gov.uk.


Links

  1. Residents Parking Scrutiny Review
  2. Map of parking permit zone 10R. The map is not quite up to date as it excludes Swainstone Road and Waldeck Street, which were recently included within the Residents’ Parking Scheme.
  3. Parking Services Annual Report 2014/15
  4. Reading Borough Council parking permits
  5. Reading Borough Council Traffic Management Sub Committee 15 June 2016
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