The long awaited Weybridge Parking Review recommendations have received mixed reactions locally, and disappointment at what was not covered. Here we give an overview of the parking issues, and draft reactions from PPDRA to the recommendations.
When the Surrey County Council parking team presented its Weybridge Parking Review report of recommendations, and drawings to the Elmbridge local committee at its meeting of 27 June for initial approval, councillors at the meeting reported a lot of concern from local residents
SCC reports that “As a result of concerns expressed by committee members, we are currently considering comments received in response to the publication of these proposals, before deciding on what schemes should be put forward to formal advertisement. We are still aiming to advertise these proposals in September.”
At a public meeting on 14 July organised by Cllr Andrew Davis, PPDRA Chair Miles Macleod was invited to attempt an impartial non-political introduction.
Here are the notes from that introduction:
Weybridge Parking Review – An Introduction from PPDRA
Parking is an increasingly serious problem for our town. Weybridge needs:
- Reliable parking for residents
- Convenient parking for shoppers & visitors
- Affordable parking for workers
The issue is that demand for parking spaces exceeds supply.
- Weybridge has a particular problem in roads where Victorian and Edwardian homes have no off-street parking, so residents have to find spaces on-street, in competition with workers and shoppers unless there is a CPZ in their road.
Over the years this has got worse, with:
- more cars,
- new dwellings without private parking (which Government planning law forces Councils to permit near town centres)
- progressively more yellow lines and on-street restrictions which reduce overall capacity
Many residents were pleased when Surrey announced a strategic review, which would try to do something about that.
- Those who recalled the last strategic review, some 8 years ago, hoped it would be nothing like that – a plan which caused an outcry because it would have reduced parking capacity dramatically in parts of North Weybridge causing displacement to neighbouring areas.
PPDRA welcomed the new review’s aims. Our view has long been that:
- residents in individual roads should be consulted on CPZs, within an overall strategy and consultation with wider community
- the Councils — Surrey & Elmbridge — should work together to increase capacity
- something major is needed to address the shortage of off-street parking in Weybridge
What was our reaction on seeing the Review recommendations? Well, in some ways very disappointed
– where is the strategic thinking? What about off-street parking? And why were some roads entirely ignored?
But it does have some positive points, in some of the changes proposed.
PPDRA DRAFT reactions to the Weybridge Parking Review 2016 report of recommendations
It has some good points:
- Trying to address some important parking issues, and consulting residents of the most immediately affected roads – particularly those close to the High Street, with limited private off-street parking (where residents rely on being able to park on-street)
- Proposing CPZ changes/extension based on the responses of residents of those roads
- Proposing something to help control early evening on-street parking near the town centre (by extending restrictions to 8pm)
- Trying to do something to increase daytime short-stay shopper parking (by allowing it in some sections of CPZ roads)
- Addressing known safety issues around various junctions
And bad points:
- Failing to take a strategic view of Weybridge parking needs, and on-street vs off-street capacity
- Particularly failing to address the issue of public off-street parking shortage
- Ignoring roads east of Thames Street (e.g. Grenside Rd, Grotto Road, West Palace Gardens, Old Palace Road)
- Not assessing the impact of displacement parking from CPZs
- Not being effective enough in increasing short-stay shopper daytime parking capacity (e.g. Oakdale Road daytime spaces count)
- Doing nothing to assist long-stay worker parking
There is a fair overlap between our views and the views from the Weybridge Society, but where we differ is that PPDRA does not think that all changes should be put on hold while the strategic issues are sorted out – there is a parking crisis in some roads near the High Street, which needs urgent action.