A resident’s view of the robust plan for a multi-storey car park

Dear Editor.

The only way a multi-storey will work is by introducing resident permit holders only parking throughout Haslemere. And we all know what that will do to Haslemere.

A multi-storey cark is not the answer.  Apparently, there are 357 commuters on a six year waiting list.

So this will make 357 people very happy who mostly don’t live (or care about) Halsemere. (No doubt that some do).

Haslemere has a population of 15K + people. This is not exactly big picture thinking.

As said before, this is about Haslemere as a whole, not satisfying the needs of a handful of people.

Again: No proper consultation•. No proper facts. No big picture or forward thinking.

Where’s the robust plan? I would love to see it.

How is this going to benefit the local community of Haslemere?

Are profits going into a park’n’ride scheme, or a network cycle and pathways, or even subsidising a decent bus network. Nope.

A few ‘choice’ images of the new car park were selected for publication the Haslemere Herald in 2009. These were in my opinion chosen to sway public opinion.

The ‘Haslemere Station Multi Storey Car Park Design and Access Statement’ was a report commissioned by Stagecoach South West Trains.

Extract taken from the conclusion: “The proposals have been the subject of extensive pre-submission consultation with the local authorities and stakeholders, and have been responsive to comments made. The proposed MSCP at Haslemere Station exhibits high levels of support from the local community, and on-street and station car parking are important issues for local residents.”

The whole report was heavy biased to getting the car park approved through planning. Who were these people who were consulted? The 357 commuters? A few vocal residents who choose to buy a house near the station knowing there would be parking issues?

Why was the Multi Storey Car Park mostly ignored in the May 2012 Haslemere Design Statement?

With massive visual impact, this will be one of the largest buildings in Haslemere. This mediocre architectural carbuncle will become the depressing gateway to our town for both residents and visitors.

Hetty.

Note to editor: Please publish the attached image.

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From: E B [mailto: removed] Sent: 17 February 2013 10:53 AM
To: editor@haslemereparking.com
Subject: Re: A robust plan for a multi-storey car park says @Jeremy_Hunt

1 comment for “A resident’s view of the robust plan for a multi-storey car park

  1. Paul M
    21/02/2013 at 17:00

    Well, I find myself substantially in agreement with your correspondent, Hetty, twice in short succession!

    I too am sceptical about the virtues of a multistorey car park at the station. Hetty is largely right, that its construction would inevitably require parking controls on neighbouring streets: not necessarily ROPs, could be curfews, or significant daily charges, without which SWT would merely sit by and watch an empty car park built at great expense while commuters continue to park free on the street. They are not daft enough to commit to the expenditure unless they have guarantees that this won’t happen.

    The multi-storey is not a viable option because (a) it would be a carbuncle on the face of our town, (b) during the inevitable several months of construction, the situation would become considerably worse through loss of the capacity currently present and (c) it is debatable whether it will ever happen anyway.

    Assuming that a multi-storey would be built with a view to profit, why permit a company such as SWT to gouge its customers more than it does already? We know that parking charges have risen far faster than rail fares or inflation, simply because SWT does not have to observe limits on those increases.

    A far more rational approach would be to organise on-street parking for the benefit of Haslemere people. If we have to bear the inconvenience of it, we should gain something in return. In the true spirit of localism, could not the town form a partnership with Surrey as highway authority and either SWT or its parking management company, to manage on-street parking for the benefit of the town? There are some – a few – adjacent streets which have the capacity to absorb properly controlled car parking. I am thinking in particular of Derby Road West and Weydown Road due to their width and straightness, but perhaps there are others. Charging a market rate per day (over, say, two hours) would provide a framework for properly regulated parking, with marked bays, clear prohibition of parking which obstructs access to householders’ drives, enforcement, and the incidental benefit of calming traffic on those roads, for example by alternating blocks on either side of the road,framing each block with a build-out, and overlapping short stretches to “chicane” the road. Lord knows Weydown Road at least needs something to slow traffic down. Payment could be by coin, card or mobile phone, just as now in the Station car park

    And the profit – yes, I do mean profit – could be used to finance schemes for the benefit of Haslemere residents. Statutory limits on parking surpluses currently only permit them to be used for other road or transport schemes, but that would likely be quite enough. For example it could pay for a pedestrian crossing near the museum, street scene improvements such as block paving for the High Street/West Street area, and a wide area of 20mph limits together with the traffic calming measures which would be needed to make sure it worked. Who knows, it might stretch to a one-way scheme for Bridge St/West St/Lower St, again with traffic calming measures which would be essential to avoid the result being intolerable for their residents, so that Lower St residents could be provided with nearby space to park?

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