Monday, 19 December 2011

Parking in the Thanet towns


I went to the Turner Contemporary yesterday afternoon.

The weather was very cold so I parked in the car park between the old town and the high street, new machine there that was confusing people. I wanted three hours parking and I think two was about £1.20 so I put £2 in and it only allowed me 2 hours, this meant that I didn’t have time to visit the small shops.

There were two parking attendants on Sunday afternoon in the freezing wind giving visitors to the gallery parking tickets to enhance their Thanet leisure experience.

I wonder how cost effective this is.

I am mastering the camera on my mobile phone and was pleased with the one of The Kiss, I wanted to take a picture of the sculpture, that could only be achieved in The Turner Contemporary, for the chap who works at The Tate and allowed us to take pictures of The Kiss here.   




I believe it was Victoria Pomery who was mainly responsible for getting The Kiss in Thanet an I am working up to producing a watercolour that incorporates her in a picture of the sculpture as a thank you too.

I don’t have much difficulty with face on and quarter profile likenesses but the total profiles needed when there faces share two eyes I find difficult so I wanted a lot of shots of the sculpture.  



Back to the parking issue. The bit of Ramsgate I trade in used to be on a very busy road until Ramsgate town centre was pedestrianised and since then there is very little traffic flow as King Street and the surrounding streets only leads to the car park. However since the reduction in traffic, there has been a considerable increase in double yellows on this area.


Conversely where there is much more traffic near one of the local schools and the new Tesco, some aspects of the parking appear fairly dangerous.

The road behind my bookshop where I used to park my van across my own garage gates, is a dead end and now has double yellow lines, I certainly wonder why




The most extraordinary application of the parking rules that I have ever seen is the road to nowhere behind Ramsgate Sands, the combination of no loading and double yellow lines on this quiet road with no through traffic, suggests a degree of malice directed towards tourism in Ramsgate of maniac proportions, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2011/06/yellow-peril-at-ramsgate-main-sands.html



Incidentally the main Thanet blogs sem to have gone parking mad today see:



great minds thinking alike? 
I will ramble on here.

40 comments:

  1. You should've parked behind The Winter Gardens Michael!

    There's a free car park round the back of The Winter Gardens that is owned by TDC, & used mainly by visitors to the theatre & the TC, people who would EXPECT to pay for parking. So a fair bit could be raised there. I'm sure there's other similar locations that could subsidise a little free parking in the towns.

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  2. Michael, following the recent parking press release, all the blogs are talking about parking, which spurred me on to do some background research into free Saturday parking

    Alpha Rd,Birchington approx 50 spaces

    Harold Rd, Northdown Rd app 40 spaces

    Cannon Rd, Ramsgate approx 80 spaces

    Vere Rd Broadstairs undefined 80? spaces

    Mill Lane Margate 432 spaces

    approx 700 spaces, 62% in Margate

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  3. Ah ladies and gentlemen, we do seem to have caused a stir now don’t we. I wonder when the last time was that Michael or Readit took such objection to an opposition press release – or indeed Michael edited to exclude information from the release as he has done on his press release blog.

    Thanks to Tony Flaig for honestly reproducing the whole thing.

    Your straight ratio calculations are flawed, in that there are relationships around the length of time people park for on different sites. It is entirely possible to have a loaded % coming from particular areas, if there is a higher incidence of short term parking in that area, for whatever reason.

    The figures, I assure you, are entirely accurate, and I am somewhat surprised to hear Cllr Worrow not acknowledging that, given he had a private briefing on the subject last week, which would have presented those figures to him. He may not like the conclusions, but should really acknowledge their existence.

    The free parking figures are simply derived. If you take the least used car parks on a Saturday in each of the four towns and one village (editing error there for which I apologise), then the cost of making them available is going to be less than opening the currently more popular car parks – this is not rocket science.

    This is entirely in line with Mary Portas thinking, in making car parking available cheaper in and around town (and one village) centres to encourage trade on the traditionally busiest shopping day each week. If it works, and the budget allows, it could be further extended over time, whilst keeping the overall budget balance.

    I repeat, we left in place a plan to help 5 shopping areas, which costs only marginally more than the cost of helping one promoted at full council. Sometimes, you have to govern for all the area, not just one special bit - isn’t that the basis of you gentlemen’s ongoing complaint about fairness?

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  4. Sorry if I messed it up Chris, it was one of several I published today and came in rather a strange format, so I will need something a bit better than this netbook to sort it out, as it won’t even open the website the linked document is hosted on.

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  5. Sorry, Chris I cannot agree, I read the release on Big News Margate not Thanet Press releases.

    Having read what you have said here and de-cyphered it into plain English I believe you are saying that you are favouring Margate High Street because you had a visit from Mary Portas and you will consider rolling it out to other centres when finance permits.

    This seems to me, a bit like reporting as a news item the person who has been evicted from the big brother house, a total lack of grasp on reality.

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  6. Cllr Wells says "Sometimes, you have to govern for all the area, not just one special bit"

    What about the free parking in Cllr Ezekiel's ward, is that not one special bit?

    And the free parking in Cllr Moores ward, is that not one special bit?

    Maybe they should call themselves the 'do as we say, not as we do' group!

    The former administration almost totally ignored Ramsgate for example

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  7. Chris there are two problems here.

    1 Is that the word “ENDS” in a press release is where I take the thing to end, I don’t suppose you would want me to make a habit of publishing information from Conservative group members not intended for publication. Here is the whole thing http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop1011/id6.htm

    2 We are being asked to believe here that the parking in Birchington village High Street (40 spaces) half hour revenue equates to 15% of the paid parking in Thanet. Either there are only 240 paid parking spaces in the whole of Thanet that generate equivalent revenue, or the information is wrong.

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  8. On this one, given the cost implications on other parts of the budget, I'm going to hold back on commenting till the new budget comes before Council. I need to see some more detail.

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  9. why do elected councillors and people who work for the council get free parking at mill lane, you don't find all NHS staff getting free parking at qeqm.If a fair rate was paid by those who use mill lane perhaps more free parking in the towns for shoppers could be provided.

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  10. Chris Wells,

    I have read and re-read your alleged clarification on parking. I must be a bit dim because I cannot understand any of it. Especially this piece,

    "Your straight ratio calculations are flawed, in that there are relationships around the length of time people park for on different sites. It is entirely possible to have a loaded % coming from particular areas, if there is a higher incidence of short term parking in that area, for whatever reason."

    Chris, this is at best arcane jargon and at worst gobbledygook.

    I suggest that you solve the parking problem by applying systematised management flexibility in conjunction with a functional organisational capability which will deliver a synchronised monitored time-phase. If this fails to solve the problem then you will need to fall back on parallel incremental programming.

    I hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if you feel I can be of assistance.

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  11. I suggested the same thing a week or two back anon, but Simon said that there would probably be union trouble if the free parking was taken away (can anyone confirm this?).

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  12. ok John Holyer,let me try again. Readit has tried to define a mathematical relationship between the number of parking spaces and the likely cost/income from them. If you have spaces in one area that are used for shorter periods of time, ie the first half hour; and compare this with an area where people park for longer ie for an hour or more, Readit's straight ratio between spaces and income will not work - and it is entirely possible that a gift of a free half hour will then cost differently to the budget in different places.

    Readit also is mistaken in extrapolating the spaces in Birchington high street seperately in the way he has. The motion to council wants high street and car parks to all have a free half hour.

    Finally, there is a cost difference between the ways you offer free parking. A free half hour anywhere has to be patrolled and enforced as if it were paid to prevent abuse, so offers no cost saving in enforcement. A free offer in a particular car park ona particular day requires no enforcement, and thus frees resources for REadit's wish to enforce other parking areas more effectively.

    Hope this helps.

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  13. I am sure Cllr Worrow is attempting to never allow a fact to get in the way of a good soundbite. With a consultation on parking coming, he can easily feed in his wish to add Palm Bay, Minnis Bay, Westgate High street, indeed westbrook, minster and anywhere else he wishes should pay parking charges to fund his grand demand for free parking in Birchington. As an independent, he should have no dificulty demanding Tom King's voters pay the price of Mr Worrow's support for a labour administration, now should he - after all there is no whip in independence now is there?

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  14. conservatives, labour, indies - perhaps you should follow the best practice of councils up and down Kent. Parking permits.

    creates huge revenue, allowing you charge less in the town centres. For example, charge only for one hour, say 10.30 to 11.30, penalising those who want to leave their car all day - visitors, commuters, workers etc.

    I'm not sure what the revenue would work out to, enforcement costs, but if better councils in our own county do it, there has to be something in it.

    living near ramsgate town centre on a free parking road, i can say I'm surprised that any parking revenue is collected as its so easy to park for the town, the station all day without paying anything.

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  15. I have to admit that once again, having dropped the political sniping, Chris Wells has offered a reasonably clear explanation. This is reassuring because it indicates a willingness to try and engage with the blogosphere and an understanding that constructive Opposition involves talking to the electorate, not yelling at the ruling Administration. The explanation was offered without the patronising tone adopted by the other local Tory blogger which generally leads to lost tempers and almost always wanders off-thread. Well done and thank you.

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  16. Tim Clark is absolutely right; the squabbling and bickering does not show our elected representatives in a good light, nor does the arrogance of one individual who should remember that he is elected to serve the community, not patronise them!

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  17. Peter, this has been explained to you before, but since you seem to have difficulty taking things on board let's try again.

    If an employee enjoys free parking at their place of work it becomes a benefit in kind. Any attempt to remove that benefit must go through the employer/staff consultation process with the inevitability of union involvement. With public sector workers already facing cut backs, pay rise restraints and pension changes there is no way TDC could just take away a parking perk.

    Councillors could lose their free spaces, but that of course is much more minimal usage, mainly for meetings outside busy parking times.

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  18. Now why do I think that Tim Clarke is simply the familiar Troll trying yet another new alias and then engaging in a conversation with himself.

    Follow the distinctive style across the Thanet weblogs people and join-up the dots...

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  19. I'm getting a bit confused with Tim & Tom, though I guess that's the intention.

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  20. To Chris Wells:

    Chris, Thank you. It is clearer now. I would imagine that this is a financial mathematical problem that the 'cabinet' could leave to its officials to create solutions. Maybe it does.

    I fail to see why the important subject of Parking has been reduced to a party political knockabout, frequently of the yaw boo sucks variety, that seems to override all else. But then these antics are common place in TDC. playing party politics at local government level is risible and importantly unhelpful.

    When will TDC Counsellors realise that most of us could not care less about their petty party political infighting. Anyone with half a mind and that includes TDC knows what is wrong with Thanet. Do not waste your time and energy explaining why TDC cannot improve things. Just get on and fix it it. Pester your officials for solutions. There is always a way. It is the task of TDC to find it.

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  21. Tom Clark at 11:08

    I take your point. My experience of this is different from the one you portray. The FCO more or less banned staff parking in the main building quadrangle. To the best of my knowledge Admin simply banned and told all those concerned to put up with it. A bit of courage on the part of TDC would not go amiss.

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  22. DRM at 11:27,

    Simon I echo your suspicions about several of the posters on this blog, especially those from anonymous. This is an inherent weakness of blogs.

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  23. Interesting John. As I said, worth a try, even if this means negotiating.

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  24. Yet Another AnonymousDecember 20, 2011 12:19 pm

    Peter and John, your constant problem with anonymous, and even named, contributors does get rather tedious. Treat contributions according to their relevance to the debate. The source is really irrelevant since, with very few exceptions, we really do not know each other whatever we may call ourselves.

    By the way, the difference between Tim Clark and Tom Clarke is that one is called Timothy and the other Thomas. Tom spells his surname with an 'e' and Tim doesn't.

    If you read their contributions, Tim claims a slightly right position, but does attack known Tory councillors from time to time. Tom on the other hand is an outright, proper Eurosceptic Tory.

    The ones to watch are those like Peter, who is inclined to publish some facetious comment and then two minutes later his little anonymous echo supports it. Talk about hypocrits!

    I know who Michael is, for I have been in his bookshop. I know Simon and Chris because I have met them. All the rest of you, regardless of what you call yourselves, are complete unknowns. Hence, as I have said before, what's in a name!

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  25. C'mon, everyone in Thanet has met me!

    Everyone of any importance that is.

    As for my supposed "echo", it seems like John is the main person who responds to my posts shortly afterwards (& I suspect he's real!).

    Love & peace.

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  26. To anonymous @12:19,

    I do not have a problem, as you put it, with those that choose to remain anonymous. All I am saying is that it will avoid confusion if each of you took a unique nom de blog. This would make it easier for the rest of us to follow your reasoning throughout a debate and to have a conversation with you. Does that sound fair and reasonable?

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  27. I have often not been able to find a parking space during the week at Margate Multi Storey (apart from numerous disabled ones that I can't use). At the weekend it is largely empty so presumably it is full in the week largely as a result of 'free' TDC staff parking.

    I suspect that there may be income from the public being lost as they can't find spaces in the week and it may also put people off shopping etc in Margate due to parking difficulties with a subsequent impact on shops.

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  28. To anonymous at 16:19,

    When I worked at the FCO in Westminster none of us had parking, free otherwise. This applied right up to the highest level and that included Ministers. There was some allocated parking for duty personnel, but only at night when the commuter trains had stopped running.

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  29. Thank you for your kind words, John Holyer, I will try and keep the explanations as open as I can. You stated: Pester your officials for solutions. There is always a way.

    What makes you think this is not exactly what happened here - which is why I am so sure of the figures.

    Difficult to comment today, stuck on the M25 most of the afternoon, doing this by wifi before struggling on..

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  30. I am disgusted that these people who live in and visit the town should expect to park for free. I would suggest that it isn't unreasonable to expect a fee in the order of £10 per day to help pay for the fabulous roads we have in this area. The money would also help to pay for the large redundancy packages handed out to senior Council staff.

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  31. So Chris please explain to me what part of

    "# the cost of implementing 30 minutes free parking for Birchington High Street as well would be more than £40,000".

    was I mistaken on.

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  32. Hello Chris,

    Yes, I did realise that you must of course use your Officials. That's the way it works. I suppose I mentioned it just because wanted to highlight the point.

    You thank me for my "kind words". I am not sure if I used any. I cannot overlook the possibility that you are taking the .. sorry.. being ironic. Whatever the case may be you are always polite, for which I thank you.

    Good luck in your tussle with the M25.

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  33. As a benefit in kind i assume all councillors and officers pay tax on this benefit which must be worth in the region of £1000 per year

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  34. Presumably Birchington High St parking is on road parking so I would think that the money received from fees has to be used for transport work rather than I think Council owned car parks money that I think goes in to general Council funds.

    If so, I think the argument is a bit different for the High St as if the above is right any reduction should not impact on Council Tax. Often the overall on road funds for areas have surpluses at the end of the year but I don't know if this is the case for Thanet.

    So the debate may not be as simple as it first seems as different parking areas income may have different impacts on the finances.

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  35. There's also a proper car park off of Birchington High Street anon (go & visit the place, you might like it!).

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  36. John Holyer

    The kind words were not ironic, I was acknowledging your gentle reminder to avoid confusing explanation, and your willingness to acknowledge when the explanation was clearer, that was all.

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  37. Readit asks:

    So Chris please explain to me what part of

    "# the cost of implementing 30 minutes free parking for Birchington High Street as well would be more than £40,000".

    was I mistaken on.

    Readit also is mistaken in extrapolating the spaces in Birchington high street seperately in the way he has. The motion to council wants high street and car parks to all have a free half hour.Thus this figure incorporates all initial 30 minute parking in Birchington car parks and high street.

    Finally, there is a cost difference between the ways you offer free parking. A free half hour anywhere has to be patrolled and enforced as if it were paid to prevent abuse, so offers no cost saving in enforcement. A free offer in a particular car park ona particular day requires no enforcement, and thus frees resources for REadit's wish to enforce other parking areas more effectively.

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  38. To Chris Wells,

    Your 09:41: Thank you. My apologies.

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  39. So there will be no cost savings to TDC if free parking is allowed across 700 Thanet spaces on saturdays at a cost of £12,000. The resouces would just be moved.

    So how much would free parking in Birchington's 120 spaces car parks plus on street) cost on a saturday?

    You would think it would be about £2,000 given that its cheaper to park there rather than Margate/Ramsgate.

    But according to the press release, to allow the free 30 mins in Birchington (90 paid for car park spaces and 30 on street spaces) would cost £50,000 in total for 7 days a week. Or if you pro rate this about &7,000 per day.

    I still have not seen any figures that justify the claims in the press release.

    ReplyDelete

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