This letter appeared in the Herald this week.
Cllr Mulliner’s view is that a multi-storey car park is the only way forward for Haslemere (Haslemere Herald, 17th January 2014). His MSCP, accompanied by residential on street parking controls, is his holistic strategy. He is also on record as saying that it will be much easier to start charging in the Wey Hill car park once parking provision is arranged at the station.
The current plan for a MSCP is not large enough to accommodate the number of commuters on the South West Trains waiting list. Residential road controls will mean there will be an increase in long stay parking at a multi-storey car park, as well as in the Wey Hill, Weydown Road and Tanners Lane car parks. He is offering maximum convenience for those who spend the least time in the town in the day. That may be holistic for the coffers of Waverley Borough Council and South West Trains but it does not in any way take into account the need to increase availability of short stay parking for the shoppers and tourists that contribute to our town centre’s vitality. Nor does it help those commuters and shop keepers who cannot afford £1,000 a year to park.
Surely a holistic parking solution should be one that has the town’s economic growth at its heart, with perhaps a balance of a ratio of 70/30 short stay/long stay parking, not the other way round. In addition, a proper parking strategy ought to increase the volume of travel to the town centre by more sustainable modes of travel.
Jeremy Hunt launched his “Say Yes to a MSCP” campaign without explaining that it would be part-funded by the town council and without revealing the architectural plans for the multi-storey. So, our parking charges will go up in three significant ways:
1) increase in council tax,
2) increase in WBC car park fees (SW Trains will not agree to WBC charging lower fees in car parks near their station car park) and
3) the need to buy residents’ and visitors’ parking permits.
I wonder if the 1% of residents who have sent their YES, realise what they have agreed to?