Kettering residents set for second vote on parking permits

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A proposal to introduce parking permits in some Kettering streets is back on the agenda just months after the process was branded “a shambles”.

In March furious businesses in the suggested Zone J in the town said a plan to bring in parking restrictions would be the final straw, with some even threatening to move.

The proposed extension to Zone J is in blue.

The proposed extension to Zone J is in blue.

Two weeks later Kettering Council announced the proposed extension to Zone J would not go ahead after not enough residents backed it.

But residents in some streets were for the plans and now look like they will have a second vote.

Tonight (Wednesday) Kettering Council’s ruling executive committee will finalise a consultation on introducing permits in The Drive, a stretch of Headlands from Bowling Green Road to Hawthorn Road and part of Broadway. The restricted Broadway section would run from Headlands to halfway between Garfield Street and Argyll Street.

A report set to be discussed by councillors said: “There are clear exit and entrance points along the Headlands into the proposed zone and the zone includes The Drive and the western section of the Broadway where there was strong resident support for a residents’ parking scheme.”

Many residents said implementing the permits would only push the problem into surrounding streets.

The council report said that such an extension would normally include Garfield Street, Argyll Street, Hawthorn Road and the remainder of Broadway to simplify entrance and exit points. However, this will not be introduced because there was such a low level of support for it.

It went on to add that introducing the zone mid-way in a street was ‘not ideal’ and that they would discuss the matter with the county council’s Highways team.

As part of the consultation the two-hour parking bays in Headlands - used by many for visits to businesses, the GP surgery and dental practice - will be up for consideration.

Residents will be asked whether they should be retained as bays for residents’ parking and two-hour visitors or become residents’ parking only.

When parking permits were last discussed in April the consultation process was branded “a shambles”.

Many said it was unclear how the council had determined the results and that the survey, put through letterboxes in unmarked brown envelopes, had been thrown in the bin by many residents who did not know it was an important document.

A report by the council admitted that whilst a review into their consultation process did not show the results to be inaccurate, it did cause confusion and undermine confidence in the process.

The council has confirmed the extension will only be considered for implementation if positive responses are equal to or in excess of 60 per cent of households in the area.

Parking permits for the zone, which is restricted 24 hours a day, cost £35 per year.