Next @SurreyCouncil LAC will discuss removing Petworth Road parking spaces

In the agenda of the 14th December Local Area Committee, there is an item relating to parking to Haslemere.

It is a proposed new zebra crossing on the Petworth Road which could remove three parking spaces, HIGHWAYS PROGRAMME 2012-13 UPDATE REPORT

(iv) Agree to the revocation of the temporary waiting parking bays outside numbers 2
to 8 on the B2131 Petworth Road and the creation of a bus clearway at this

2.2 Zebra Crossing in Petworth Road at the junction with High Street, Haslemere

Design work on this scheme is nearing completion, with installation programmed
for February/March. No vehicle is permitted to stop on a zebra crossing or the
zig-zag road markings either side of it for obvious road safety reasons. The
existing bus stop outside No. 2 Petworth Road is located on the line of the
proposed zebra crossing, and must be moved to allow the zebra to be installed.
A site meeting has been held to identify possible new locations for the bus stop,
attended by Surrey County Council Passenger Transport and Design Team
officers, a Police Road Safety officer, and the local County Councillor. It was
agreed that the only nearby location at which a bus could safely stop is the layby
outside Nos 2 to 8 Petworth Road, currently designated as limited waiting
(8.30 to 18.30 Monday to Saturday, 1 hour no return 1 hour). This restriction
would have to be revoked, and a bus clearway created, in order to move the bus
stop to the lay-by, and the Committee is asked to authorise these changes.
However, the Area Highways Manager has asked for a further review of other
possible locations for the bus stop, and only if this fails to identify a suitable
location would the recommended changes be made.

Zebra crossings have been written about before on (see here.)

I am further disturbed to hear that items such as zebra crossings outside schools
are being offered, whether they had previously been requested or not, as a way
of gaining these groups’ approval of the proposals. What Haslemere Museum
would make of this I really don’t know, since they have been campaigning for a
crossing without any success for over a year and have been told there is no
prospect of one for at least five years!

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7 Responses to Next @SurreyCouncil LAC will discuss removing Petworth Road parking spaces

  1. Paul M says:

    Well, we certainly need a zebra crossing there. Pedestrians wishing to walk up the high street and access the shops on the south side of Petworth Road (eg Game, Sports Locker) or along towards Shepherd’s Hill currently have to take their lives in their hands to cross here, especially when accompanied by small children.

    • Alice W says:

      I totally agree with the comments from Paul M and I really don’t believe this is all part of a ploy by SCC to remove parking spaces. It is merely a case of SCC responding to requests from Haslemere residents (myself included) for a zebra crossing on a dangerous section of road. We may not have had any serious accidents on this spot yet but it is only a matter of time, I have witnessed several incidents here which narrowly avoided nasty accidents involving vehicle meets pedestrian. I would rather see the crossing installed now than following a fatality. A further crossing near the Museum seems an excellent idea and perhaps efforts would be better directed towards campaigning for that rather than being negative about a much needed crossing on Petworth Road.

  2. yardgirl says:

    While there might be the need for a zebra crossing these are the only three spaces in the whole of Petworth Road serving residents and businesses who have no off street parking, if the other parking restrictions are implemented this will be a disaster for Petworth Road, is there a way to object or submit a view to the meeting? Losing valuable parking for a bus that only comes along a few times a day seems ridiculous, surely an alternative can be found.

  3. AW1957 says:

    I think a zebra crossing here is a good idea but I do not agree with moving the parking spaces.

    I think it is odd the museum does not get a zebra crossing.

    There have been no accidents involving children or cyclists on the Petworth Road in the last 7 years according to CrashMap. But in 2010 there were three accidents involving children – one on that awful junction of Lower Street and Shepherds Hill and 2 in the High Street. One of these was by the museum.)

    Have any Petworth Road shops or residents been consulted? Does revoking spaces need an advertisement?

    • Paul M says:

      I agree entirely – we need more than one pedestrian crossing across the high street, whether that is by the museum or slightly lower down. Midhurst has two light-controlled crossings on North Street, although there are none for quite some distance at the southern end/Rumbolds Hill.

      We have to ask ourselves whether we want a High Street, or an A286. Practically speaking, we are lumbered with the A286, but first and foremost it is Haslemere High Street, and we should structure it as such.

      As for Petworth Road, the fact that there have been no recent accidents there does not mean that it is not dangerous. There is an understandable, but erroneous, tendency to conflate danger with historic stats, but perceived danger has an effect on behaviour – the main reason why pedestrian casualities are declining is because pedestrians simply avoid going anywhere near busy roads. I certainly dislike crossing Petworth Road, and when my children were younger I used to scurry across anxiously gripping their hands tightly, long after they reached an age to find that embarrassing.

      On the whole, I have to be pretty motivated to venture into that area as a pedestrian, having parked for example in the High St or Chestnut Avenue car parks, like the vast majority of shoppers, and I can’t believe that is healthy for the retailers situated on the south side of Petworth Road.

  4. Mel Rollinson says:

    We own a business in Petworth Road, Woodie & Morris, and we (& our 6 staff)have crossed this road every day, several times a day, with no problems whatsoever over the course of 3.5 years. This is purely a ploy by Surrey County Council to remove 3 free parking spaces. No residents or businesses/shops in the area have been consulted to date.

    There is no free parking in Petworth Road at all for residents, businesses or shoppers and these spaces should remain.

    • Paul M says:

      Evidently you are more fearless than I. The traffic conditions deter me from crossing there so I sadly miss the benefits offered by the shops on that side of the road.

      To suggest that SCC is using the crossing as a pretext to eliminate free parking is fanciful and snacks of conspiracy theory. I can imagine they may wish to charge for parking, to swell County coffers, but it is hard to see what motivation they have to remove parking spaces just for the hell of it.

      I note above that there is also a question of providing somewhere for a bus stop. Latest Census stats from 2011 indicate that over a quarter of households nationwide have no access to a car, and I have no doubt that some residents even in Haslemere are car-less, either because they can’t afford one or because they consider themselves too old to continue driving. One of the most scandalous aspects of rural living is the lack of public transport options or alternatives to the car, which disenfranchises that part of society for which the private car is not an option.

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