Gasworks and parking rears its ugly head again

Today the gas work mains repairs started in Haslemere, with work undertaken by Southern Gas Networks and disruption for the next 16 weeks. We’ve written before  – Community Spirit?! – how Waverley Borough Council were reluctant to waive parking charges to help local businesses. One Haslemere shopkeeper wrote on Twitter early this morning: “As if we don’t have enough to worry about, parking warden is writing tickets.”


Once again parking rears its ugly head! At the initial meeting with interested parties, the Fire Service raised the issue of egress from the Fire Station in the event of an emergency. It was thought that with traffic congestion expected in Bridge Road and West Street it would be prudent to suspend parking in both these roads for the period of the project. In order to accommodate residents Waverley Borough Council were approached to offer free parking for residents in the affected roads. Originally this was for 7am – 7pm but at a subsequent meeting it was decided that it would be prudent to increase this to cover the 24 hour period.

At the same meeting it was decided to request Waverley to offer free parking after 2pm during the works. This would be actively promoted by the businesses and encourage people to continue to visit the area despite the disruption.

At this point, Waverley have agreed to offer free permits to residents in Bridge Road and West Street subject to the relevant traffic orders being in place, but declined the free parking after 2pm in the central car parks.

Following the business meeting on the 18th April, we shall be asking Waverley Borough Council to revisit this decision.

This is Carole King’s reply published on the Keep Calm website:

Dear Melanie

Thank you for your email of 30 March 2012 and the enclosed letter concerning the closure of Lower
Street, Haslemere from 30 April 2012 for a period of 16 weeks to enable works to replace the gas
main in this road.

Officers have very carefully considered your request for free parking from 1400hrs each day in the
off-street car parks and are of the opinion that, as all car parks will remain accessible to motorists
throughout the road works period and the cost of free parking to this Council would be significant,
Waverley is unable to grant this request. However, any loss to the retail trade can be compensated
by Southern Gas Networks to local businesses which suffer genuine loss of trade due to their works…

Whilst the official traffic diversion does not utilise West Street/Chestnut Avenue/Bridge Road we
recognise that local traffic will adopt this obvious route to by-pass the road works and will be the
main link between the town centre and Wey Hill and will carry considerably more traffic than usual
during the closure of Lower Street. It is my understanding that Guildford BC and Surrey CC are in
discussions concerning the suspension of on-street parking in West Street and that Haslemere
Town Council is also discussing the introduction of on-street restrictions in Bridge Road with SCC.

Pending a satisfactory outcome of these discussions, Waverley BC is pleased to offer residents in
West Street/Chestnut Avenue (part)/Bridge Road, who do not have the benefit of off-street parking
at their homes, free parking permits for use in Chestnut Avenue car park during the period of the
Temporary Prohibition of Traffic Order for the closure of Lower Street. Cllr Mulliner has agreed to
inform all the residents in the affected streets and he has the details to enable eligible residents to
apply for permits.

We are aware that representatives of HTC, SCC Highways and SGN are now in regular contact to
work together to try to mitigate disruption during this very difficult period of essential works and
feel sure that everyone will do their utmost to achieve the best outcome possible for all.
Kind regards.

Yours sincerely
Carole King
Portfolio Holder for
Community Safety and
Car Parks