Resident view re High Street & Shepherds Hill & West Street & Wey Hill

—–Original Message—–
From: Richard Evans [mailto:]
Sent: 21 January 2013 5:05 PM
Subject: parking


From: Richard Evans

Subject: parking

Message Body:

As a long standing resident I strongly support SCC’s proposals to end angled parking  in the High Street and on Shepherds Hill and would like to see the end of kerbside parking in West Street and Weyhill which effectively ensures unnecessary congestion for my motoring  friends and bad conditions for pedestrians (eg the narrow footway by the West street post office). Cyclists and bikers overtaking the parked line of vehicles wide enought to avoid opening doors,generally have to ride head to head with oncoming vehicles (any thing from an artic lorry to sports cars).

SCC’s failure to reduce the town centre speed limit to 20MPH as I understand as been done in Chichester and Portsmouth is beginning to look like corporate sloth in County Hall.

(I am on the parking mailing list as a member of the Haslemere Society)

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8 Responses to Resident view re High Street & Shepherds Hill & West Street & Wey Hill

  1. Victorialeake says:

    Press Release
    11th December 2012

    Lib Dems’ Call for 20mph Zones across County Fails

    In a motion tabled at today’s (11th December 2012) meeting of the County Council, the Lib Dem Group called for a change to a Council-wide policy which would make it easier to implement 20mph zones across Surrey’s already heavily-congested roads, despite the potential for considerably greater traffic issues this would create, and the impact it would have on Surrey residents and businesses. They also called for ‘terminal and repeater signs’ to help aid enforcement, going completely against a general move away from ‘street furniture’ such as street signs, speed warnings and advertising hoardings which clutter up our pavements.

    John Furey, Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport, said that Conservative Councillors had done their utmost to prevent a blanket 20mph speed limit policy as it would ‘inevitably lead to heavy congestion’ in some rural as well as urban areas.

    John added ‘I’m glad that the Conservative Group unanimously defeated this attempt to alter the cross-Surrey policy on speed limits, and I’m sure our residents and businesses are too. If local people feel there is a need to look closer at a particular speed limit, then, in line with the localism agenda, they can raise it at their local committee. It is not, and should not be for councillors from elsewhere in the County to dictate a one-size-fits-all policy for every mile of Surrey’s roads.’

  2. Cathy says:

    I find it very depressing that a local resident shows such little support for the retailers in the town, who by the way provide lots of employment, that they value convenience for drivers over the valuable free parking spaces for shoppers. Without the retailers there would be no pedestrians in West Street!!! Have you not heard about the demise of the High Street??? How many empty units are there already in Haslemere that were not there six months ago?? The services provided by the local retailers will never be replaced if lost!!! Who sponsors the Xmas carols at the war memorial, the local retailers!!!! Who contributes to the Xmas lights in the town? The Chamber of Commerce!!! Who cleared the pavements of snow in the High Street and West Street today, not the local councillors the independent retailers who were concerned about the safety of local residents!!!! I rest my case!!

    It’s hard enough already for retailers faced with supermarkets and Internet competition please don’t make it any harder by taking away free parking spaces!!!!

  3. Paul M says:

    I think you know by now that I am with Mr Evans as regards on-street parking in the town, but as regards 20mph provisions I am with Ms Leake. I am dissatisfied with the county’s hostility to lowering speed limits generally, and to implementation of 20mph streets specifically. Now that the Department for Transport has published a revised speed limit circular last Friday, in which it is abundantly clear that the game has changed, and the interests of smoother and faster traffic flow are no longer to be elevated above pedestrian safety and the interests of residents, it is high time that Surrey responded more positively and individuals like Mr Furey started to listen to his constituents.

    There is abundant evidence that the supposed “heavy congestion” referred to by Mr Furey is a complete canard. Anyone who wants to get to rational information on 20mph limits should look at the material available on the 20splenty website at Surrey should be reviewing all residential streets and all other streets with heavy pedestrian footfall for consideration as 20 zones now, and objection only on the grounds that the road in question is a through route is no longer accepted under the new circular.

    I disagree with Cathy that free on-street parking is essential for the prosperity of our retailers, and I resent the suggestion that being opposed to it means I don’t support our independent retailers. We ALWAYS buy our pet food at Haslemere Pet Supplies even though it is probably cheaper at Pets at Home, just as we buy journals at Nobbs not WHS, take our coffees at Hemingways or Darnleys instead of Costa etc.

    We shouldn’t be too quick to forget that, relatively speaking, Haslemere still has a thriving town centre. We have not yet succumbed to the plague of pound shops and charity shops and mobile phone shops and building society branches and estate agents – we have just sufficient of the last two – that curses so many town centres. We are still relatively free of soulless identikit chainstores and can still shop in independent bakers, newsagents and gift shops.

    This is not to say that there are no threats to our retailers, but parking is the wrong direction to look. There are some pretty rapacious landlords out there, and that unscrupulous bunch whose dispute has led to iron railings across the entrance to Charter Walk. Business rates are probably too high for independent retailers, although it is not the county which sets the level, they don’t even get to keep most of the money raised. Finally, the street environment in Haslemere, outside the shops, is not particularly attractive. One of the main reasons why people go to Westfields or Bluewater is that once they are there, they are in a car-free environment. As Mr Evans says, the West St pavements are too narrow, and the car parking endangers pedestrians because motorists can’t see them until they emerge from behind a parked car, although I owld part company with him on the point about reducing congestion in West Street – one positive effect of parking is that it acts as an impromptu traffic calming measure.

    I would add that if High St has a problem it is that it is cleaved in two by the A286. In a thriving shopping street you should not have to wait for a light and then still take your life in your hands because some motorists apparently don’t think red lights apply to them. There should be more than one formal crossing, whether the second should be by the museum or a little further down – Midhurst has two light-controlled crossings in a shorter stretch of road. More ambitiously, a continental town of Haslemere’s size would have much more traffic calming in its centre, so that through traffic must slow down to 30kph and there would be calming measures such as paving and street furniture.

    And it is nonsense to suggest that this would cause congestion on the A286. To start with, I am absolutely sure Surrey has no survey information to support such a claim. I have never, outside occasions such as the Lower Street gas works closure, seen a significant back-up of traffic at either end, and such as there is results from the Shepherd’s Hill junction with Lower Street, not from the pedestrian crossing in the High Street.

    Now, speed limits and traffic calming in the town centre really would be a worthy cause for the Neighbourhood Planning Forum to take up.

  4. Cathy says:

    firstly, before you say that removal of parking spaces would have no effect i suggest you ask the fish shop and the bakers in west street what happened to their trade in November when parking was suspended!! Secondly studies have shown that free on street parking is a major driver attracting shoppers to local towns.During the original parking fight many shoppers told the campaign that if there was not the chance of free parking in the town they would go to the supermarkets where parking is free.
    On a separate note, I commend and thank you for shopping in the independents but you are wrong when you say that independents cost more than the chains. With regard to dog food, 2kg bag of burns chicken in pets at home is £8.09 haslemere pet co charge £8.03!! plus lower fuel charge to get there. Independents are continually trying to fight the assumption that chains are cheaper when they are not and your unhelpful and unsubstantiated comment undoes much of the work that we have achieved so far in this regard. i know for a fact that both the pet shop and the independent stationer in the town price check themselves against the competition regularly and certainly Nobbs has proved how outrageously expensive WHSmith is.

    • Paul M says:

      Parking for Waitrose is not free. I dare say we can all construct a basket which is cheaper/dearer in a supermarket, the products we buy are cheaper at Waitrose, but only stocked in Godalming so not worth the petrol to get there. Perhaps there are proper scientific surveys which conclude that free parking is essential to independent retailers, but there are certainly others which conclude that there is no such link. There has been considerable media attention recently to the fact that landlords are pricing indeperndent retailers out, and there has been a lot of comment for some considerable time about the burden represented by business rates.

  5. Cathy says:

    I agree totally that something needs to be done about speeds in the town centre. Just 5 mins ago whilst walking up the high street I witnessed a porsche 4×4 charging down the high street doing well over 30 and this morning whilst at the crossing a car drove straight through the red light again!! (this must happen to me at least once or twice a week)I fear that if the parking was removed from west street it would become a rat run and speeds would significantly increase and there is no crossing to even try to stop the traffic. At least with the current situation speeds are dramatically reduced and the parking provides a traffic calming measure

  6. Cathy says:

    So tell me Paul would you pay 60p (at present due to increase in April) to buy a 50p herald on the high street in Haslemere, when you could buy it at Tesco and pay nothing to park! That is what people were telling us during the original parking fight, and no disrespect but working in London you are not on the ground talking to Haslemere customers on a daily basis. Perhaps you could share with us the studies that say there is no link between parking charges and the decline of the high streets, for towns like Haslemere! Business rates I grant you are a huge burden and trying to get hardship relief is a complete joke with the council!

    • Paul M says:

      D Palmer, and C Ferris, Transport Research Laboratory: “Parking Measures and Policies Research Review” May 2010.

      I wouldn’t need to pay 60p to buy my paper at Nobbs. If all I am going in for is a paper, I walk or cycle. If I shop at Waitrose, they knock 60p off the bill even if I haven’t parked – and I buy my paper at Nobbs in preference to Waitrose, because it is local.

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