Weybridge Parking Review – delays and action

DorchesterRdParking2017-scThe long awaited Weybridge Parking Review decision seems to have been delayed again, and there is no reliable information available about when Surrey County Council will complete the review. But there is now a parallel local initiative to look at the problem.

Residents will recall that the draft SCC Weybridge Parking Review proposals caused a lot of concern locally, so much so that they were sent back for further work.  SCC received hundreds of comments, and it seems to be taking a very long time to consider these.  We hear that a Surrey County Council meeting to discuss local roads this month was cancelled at short notice.  No reason was given, but it coincides with a dire financial position (£120 million shortfall) and budget uncertainty. There are concerns locally that the SCC Weybridge Strategic Parking Review may be cut back or put on hold indefinitely.

Meanwhile the Weybridgetown Business Group and Weybridge Society are collaborating to take a much needed longer term strategic look at Weybridge parking needs and possibilities. You can download a press release announcing the Weybridge Parking Project 2017_18 here.

As part of that voluntary local activity, they are seeking the views of local residents groups.

PPDRA input submitted in January 2016 to the SCC Weybridge Strategic Parking Review is shown below.

Do you think that the comments below are a relevant and fair reflection of Weybridge parking needs in 2017?    If you live, work or shop in Weybridge, or are a concerned visitor, please let us know your thoughts.

PPDRA submission to SCC Weybridge Parking Review

January 2016

Portmore Park & District Residents Association (PPDRA) recognises that Weybridge needs adequate parking for residents, shoppers, visitors and workers, if our town is to thrive.  We also know that this is a difficult balance to achieve.

The PPDRA committee broadly welcomes the principle of reducing parking restrictions to help increase capacity, where that is possible and desirable, so long as

  • a good balance of priorities is achieved (especially the balance between parking for residents, shoppers and workers)
  • safety is kept as a prime consideration.

We welcome the principle of consulting residents of individual roads about the specific needs of their road, especially where residents are being displaced from limited parking spaces in their own road.

PPDRA believes there is a very strong need for more public off-street parking, priced more affordably, and convenient for Weybridge town centre.  This is a view which has been widely expressed by local residents in our community meetings and surveys.  Cheap or free short stay parking in particular could help the town centre thrive. Affordable long stay off-street parking is also much needed, within reasonable walking distance.

We recognise that allowing on-street parking can have positive outcomes beyond a simple increase in parking capacity, especially in potential rat runs.  Traffic speeds in our local residential roads are a major issue.  Parked cars can be a positive natural form of traffic calming: for example, Portmore Park Road and Thames Street are unclassified residential roads which without parked cars might become high speed rat runs for through traffic.

Thames Street and Portmore Park Road include schools and a church, which have different parking needs and impacts on the community, meriting additional thought about how best to enable the required mainly short stay parking nearby.  PPDRA has met with St George’s Junior School 3 times a year since 2002, liaising on issues including how best to manage school run drop off and pick up parking. We have also discussed parking issues with representatives of Christ The Prince of Peace church and other local groups.  We note that Thames Street has recently faced issues of excessive obstruction caused by inconsiderate parking at the upper end between the junction with Grotto Road and Monument Green.

The most serious parking issues locally arise close to Weybridge High Street. The Portmore Park and District area of north Weybridge has a fair density of mainly Victorian homes with no off-street parking.  The lack of private off-street parking is a particular issue in roads adjacent to the High Street, where shoppers and town centre workers look to park their cars. The result has been that residents of these roads, returning from a school run or shopping journey, risk finding nowhere to park within walking distance of their home. Hence many living in these roads favour residents’ parking schemes.

PPDRA has long supported the principle that Surrey County Council should consult residents of individual roads about specific residents’ parking schemes for their road.

The PPDRA committee also recognises the need to permit short term shopper and visitor parking in such roads, with a good level of churn, so long as it allows for the needed level of daytime residents’ parking.  It is not good to see ‘residents only’ parking zones with few parked cars in daytime, when shoppers can find nowhere to park and when local shops are in need of footfall.

Further from the High Street, many homes in Portmore Park & District have private off-street parking.  For roads where there is no issue of residents being displaced from essential on-street parking, as a general principle the majority of the PPDRA committee would favour only minimal restrictions, simply where safety issues demand double yellow lines on dangerous corners.  However, we appreciate that there is concern among residents in some roads (particularly Wey Road and Round Oak Road) about potential displacement of parking into their roads if CPZs are introduced elsewhere, and we feel this issue needs careful consideration by Surrey.

We are aware of specific issues in Radnor and Glencoe Roads where there is a very high density of houses and almost no off-street parking, and Church Walk which has very limited parking.  Some residents of these and other roads rely on their parking being able to overflow into on-street parking in Portmore Park Road.

PPDRA would be happy to contribute further on any way possible to help support Surrey County Council (and Elmbridge Borough Council) in finding ways to achieve adequate parking for Weybridge residents, shoppers, visitors and workers.

Additional PPDRA comments to Councillors in July 2016, following the release of draft recommendations

POSITIVE POINTS
  • The review tries to address some important parking issues, and includes consultation with residents of the most immediately affected roads – particularly those close to the High Street, with limited private off-street parking, such as Dorchester Road (where residents rely on being able to park on-street).
  • It proposes CPZ changes/extension based on the responses of residents of those roads.
  • It proposes something to help control early evening on-street parking near the town centre (by extending restrictions to 8pm).
  • It tries to do something to increase daytime short-stay shopper parking (by allowing it in some sections of CPZ roads).
  • It seeks to address known safety issues around various junctions.
STRATEGIC CONCERNS
  • The review fails to take a strategic view of Weybridge parking needs, and on-street vs off-street capacity.
  • It particularly fails to address the issue of public off-street parking shortage in Weybridge.
IMMEDIATE ISSUES
  • The review ignores roads east of Thames Street (e.g. Grenside Rd, Grotto Road, West Palace Gardens, Old Palace Road), and in particular does not address the issues of Grenside Road parking. (Note that St George’s Junior School staff park 30 or more cars on local roads on school days).
  • It does not assess the impact of displacement parking from CPZs. Some residents are concerned about displacement parking from new CPZs. PPDRA is aware of considerable disquiet from Round Oak Road & Wey Road, although PPDRA is particularly concerned about displacement into roads where there is limited private off-street parking, where displacement parking leaves residents nowhere to park.
  • It is not effective enough in increasing short-stay shopper daytime parking capacity (e.g. Oakdale Road daytime spaces count), and such spaces are poorly signed.
  • It does nothing at all to assist affordable long-stay worker parking.

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