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Case Study: Making best use of a scarce resource – Southwark’s Kerbside Strategy

Issue

Southwark Council, like many local authorities within London, struggle with congestion and parking stress.  Despite 60% of Southwark households not owning a private vehicle, and walking being the dominant mode, parking for private vehicles dominates the borough’s kerbside.  Providing an abundance of car parking options can encourage increased levels of driving, accentuating the issues of cruising and congestion.

Solution

Through the Kerbside Strategy, Southwark Council plans to implement a number of different measures with the aim of de-cluttering the kerbside to create safe, attractive and multi-functional streets through shifting the priority towards more walking and cycling.

At present, approximately 40% of the borough’s streets are CPZs, enforced by CEOs.  They plan to expand this network to cover areas of severe parking stress to deter vehicle use.  A further key approach set to be implemented is a performance-based model for car park pricing.  This will entail a flexible approach where car park rates alter in accordance to the context’s demand, with higher prices charged when demand is greater. This is set to increase parking turnover, whilst also encouraging alternative sustainable travel.

Impact

Southwark Council report that a previous scheme over the 2015/2016 period where two CPZs were introduced proved highly successful from a parking management perspective.  The enforcement of zones P and PR led to a reduction of parked cars by 50% and 40% respectively.  Although the strategy is yet to be finalised, the new approach to the role and value of kerbside space will aim to reduce car use, improve air quality, ease congestion, and create healthy streets and thriving neighbourhoods throughout Southwark.

Sources: Southwark Council (2017)

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