No Parking in West Street until February 2013. Who knew?

Walking down West Street today I noticed parking was suspended in the roads with cones.


There was this sign.

And the bollards have GBC written on them.


The first the shops knew this was happening was when the signs went up today around midday.

So, no parking in West Street until 1st February 2013. No written notice for the shopkeepers. Who knew?

6 comments for “No Parking in West Street until February 2013. Who knew?

  1. Paul M
    08/11/2012 at 14:33

    Of course you can’t necessarily draw conclusions about a market town like Haslemere from what goes on in London, but the survey by London councils makes for some interesting reading.

    Principal findings set out in the executive summary are:

    – More parking does not necessarily mean greater commercial success. A well managed parking scheme, where spaces ‘turn over’ frequently can help to increase the number of visitors coming to a town centre and thereby help business.

    – There is no such thing as ‘free’ parking. The costs of developing and maintaining parking
    spaces and then enforcing proper use to ensure good traffic flow have to be borne by
    somebody. In the case of local authority operated parking (on street or off street) any costs that are not covered by parking revenue falls to local Council Tax payers.

    – Shopkeepers consistently overestimate the share of their customers coming by car. In
    some cases, this is by a factor of as much as 400%. In London, as well as other cities, the
    share of those accessing urban centres on foot or by public transport is much greater.

    – Walking is the most important mode for accessing local town centres; public transport is the most important mode for travel to international centres, such as Oxford Street.

    – Car drivers spend more on a single trip; walkers and bus users spend more over a
    week or a month. In 2011, in London town centres, walkers spent £147 more per month than
    those travelling by car. Compared with 2004, spending by public transport users and walkers
    has risen; spending by car users and cyclists has decreased.

    – A good mix of shops and services and a quality environment are some of the most
    important factors in attracting visitors to town centres. If both these are poor, then
    changes to parking or accessibility are very unlikely to make a town centre more attractive.

    – There is very little evidence of the impacts of parking on the night time economy. This is an area that needs more research.

    – Boroughs collect a lot of data on parking but there is less information available on town
    centre economic factors. Finding ways to coordinate data collection across departments
    could be helpful to monitor the impacts of parking policies.

  2. ShowOfHands
    08/11/2012 at 17:26

    Haha…any London based report is irrelevant for Haslemere, other than for citizens to say why haven’t Waverley and Surrey Councils attempted to put together some detailed research like this?

    Look out for the next Task Force Committee that attempts to use this London research as urban justification in a rural Haslemere setting.

    SurreyCC tried that one on us before,

  3. Paul M
    09/11/2012 at 15:47

    Limited relevance, yes. Irrelevant? I think that is a little overstated. Some factors are clearly different (availability of public transport, distances, space constraints) but others are not so different, for example the benefit of achieving “churn” – making it viable for people to park all day or for long periods in a given car park can prevent the spaces being used several times in one day to serve visitors to the shops, and so constrain the revenue potential of those shops. That I assume is why WBC’s charges for High St car park per hour escalate, rather than reduce, with longer parking periods.

    And it is universally true that nothing is “free” – if motorists don’t pay for parking, then the cost falls on council tax payers instead. Sussex residents get a win-win that way, as they don’t pay WBC/SCC council taxes to subsidise on-street parking in Haslemere.

    Of course this is at best tenuously linked to West St. If this was a matter similar to the gas mains work I would be fairly sanguine about it – the servicing of a utility to most residents (not me, as it happens – I am off the gas grid and have to rely on oil) does have a wider benefit which must justifiy some inconvenience for a few. But what are we to say about a private property company being allowed to take over a public highway and inconvenience not only the people who live along it, or wish to travel along it, but also many others who experience a secondary effect on neighbouring streets? I have a similar situation on my route to work in London where the private developers of Kings Beam House are being permitted to close a road for a full year, thus choking off a quiet route used by literally thousands of commuters from Waterloo to jobs in the City of London. Local auhtorities concede much much too quickly to the interests of private developers. I do have to ask myself why this is.

    • Paul M
      10/11/2012 at 09:37

      There you have it – “Why is the work being done? Private Development”

      The question you really should be asking is: why does the local authority permit its electors to be so inconvenienced by the commercial benefits of a single private company, undertaking a private development for private gain? Could they not have been told that they must work within the constraints of their site and not impinge on the road? Perhaps that means that they would not be able to build right to the edge of their footprint and so have a smaller – and less profitable – development. That is something they should have take into account when they acquired the site and costed the plans. They should not be permitted to ride roughshod over several thousand Haslemere residents.

  4. Paul M
    17/11/2012 at 16:10

    This afternoon, when I rode down to Waitrose for some shopping, I wondered why the traffic was backing up all the way to the Haslemere Hall.

    The answer became apparent when I rounded the bend – at least five cars parked in the (suspended) parking bays between the chiropodist’s and the hardware store. Cars were trying to make progress along West Street in both directions – with some considerable difficulty.

    Now, you may have views on the decision to suspend these parking bays – was adequate notce given, is it appropriate to close sections of Lower Street so that a private developer can squeeze a few more quid out of their parcel of land by overhanging his scaffolsding onto a pubic hghway etc – but surely we are all united around the idea that if the Fire Service requests that West St be kept clear for the duration of the road works so that the additional traffic going that way does not impede them going about their duties, gaining access to the road netwrok from the fire station, we should bend over backwards to accomadate them?

    After all, a recent survey showed that the great majority (surprisingly, not all) motorists would do all they could to avoid impeding an emergency vehicle on a call-out with sirens and lights. With the state of West St this afternoon, they would have found it difficult if not impossible to move aside.

    Would those selfish and inconsiderate people be pleased if they returned home to find that their house had burned down, because the fire appliance had to make a time-consuming detour or face gridlock on the route to the blaze?

    I don’t imagine so, but evidently they don’t have the same feelings about your house, or mine.

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