On 17 January 2016, PPDRA sent the following to the Surrey Highways Parking Strategy & Implementation Team. It draws on extensive local discussion by our committee, input from residents at meetings and via a survey, and discussions with local groups.
PPDRA submission to SCC Weybridge Parking Review
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.