The Parking Action Group supports the decision by SCC to listen to the people of Haslemere and scrap many of the parking proposals that were published back in September – they were not wanted by the majority of organisations and residents impacted and, in many instances, were simply illogical! However we are concerned that SCC is still pressing ahead with proposals that are not only unwanted but also have the potential to harm the vitality of our community. When all the evidence shows that people shop more in towns where parking is freely available, we fail to understand why SCC is proposing to remove over half the parking spaces in the bays at the bottom of Shepherd’s Hill and in front of Costa Coffee, opposite our independent book shop and café. Even SCC’s Leader, David Hodge speaking as recently as November last year said, “It’s important that local people can park outside shops.” And yet SCC have ignored 53 letters of objection, and claim without any evidence that the current angled parking is too dangerous for us, dictating that we must park parallel to the curb.
Why are they still going ahead with double yellow lining on Three Gates Lane despite 45 letters of objection, and only 2 in support, when these spaces provide vital free parking spaces for shop workers who are often on low wages?
The Methodist Church has repeatedly asked for SCC to leave the small stretch of parking in front the church as it is, it provides vital parking for mobility impaired visitors, and the shops at Junction Place. SCC have again ignored their pleas, insisting that double yellow lining is necessary for unproven safety reasons.
Yet surely these are the wrong safety solutions. A more holistic approach would be to introduce a 20 mph speed limit through much of the town, and only then assess the real safety concerns around parking places.
Maybe we need an independent councillor who will really listen to the people of Haslemere?!
The SCC parking proposals can be found at www.haslemereparking.com. We would encourage everyone to attend the SCC’s Local Area Committee meeting next Thursday, 2.30pm, Haslemere Hall and it is not too late to write to Richard Bolton and David Hodge at SCC. People power does make a difference!