@SurreyCouncil suggest relying on your spouse or using public transport to get to the station

In the WAVERLEY PARKING REVIEW 2011/12 SUMMARY OF OBJECTIONS ANNEX 1 we ask you to read the section: Commuters, rail station parking and displacement, p47.

Parking Charges
The introduction of parking charges helps manage demand and can reduce car usage and congestion. (Editor’s note: David Hodge, Leader of SCC came to Haslemere on Friday 17th February. Cllr Hodge did not notice cruising for parking spaces or congestion in the town. The Town Mayor, Jim Edwards, shared this fact with The Editor and many other stakeholders at a meeting on 23rd February). Where there is free, unrestrained on street parking, drivers often fill up these spaces first, rather than going straight to a car park. The introduction of parking charges on roads around the station would inevitably change the travel behaviour of some motorists. (Editor’s note: Yes, the behaviour change will be displacement into other streets).

• Some, that live within a mile or two of the station may decide to walk or cycle, or be dropped off by their spouses (Editor’s note: Four journeys instead of two if spouses drop off. The previous paragraph says your aim is to reduce congestion and car usage. We’ll come onto CO² emissions later), although there are many other factors that could influence this such (Editor’s note: such what?! Unfinished sentence). These include the weather, availability of a suitable route, street lighting, school run, health, economic and security. (Editor’s note: The majority who live within a mile do walk/cycle already. SCC, stand in the town centre from 5am until 8am and see all the commuters walking and cycling. Look at how full the bike racks are at the station.)
• Some may try to find free parking on roads around the periphery of the restrictions to avoid the charges and have a longer walk. (Editor’s note: as noted above, displacement is inevitable.)
• Some may drive to other stations where free parking is more readily available, although there are no others that offer the ‘fast’ service to London. (Editor’s note: As stated already, we’ll come onto CO² emissions.)
• Some may car share or use public transport to get to the station or work from home more often. (Editor’s note: PUBLIC TRANSPORT? SCC, you’re cutting the buses! Car shares work only if commuters do the same journey to and from work.)

Station users may change their travel patterns, perhaps finding it easier to park later in the morning (Editor’s note: What?!). Based on season tickets issued by SW Trains for their car park it is estimated that approximately 40% of car park season ticket holders travel from within the GU27 postcode area, although it is accepted that this extends well into West Sussex and Hampshire. If this figure were applied to the rail commuter vehicles that park on street then 120 out of 300 could be (Editor’s note: “could be”? We prefer fact to supposition) from the GU27 postcode area. If only 20 of these changed their travel behaviour (and a small proportion from further a field) then parking demand could reduce by perhaps 30 vehicles per day. Although this figure is very subjective (Editor’s note: yes, very subjective) the incentive to stop driving would be greater for commuters living within a mile or so of the station.

In the Conclusions and Reasons For Recommendations, point 6.1 of OFFICER REPORT TO LOCAL COMMITTEE (WAVERLEY) ON STREET PARKING REVIEW IN WAVERLEY 2011/12: SUMMARY OF CONSULTATION RESPONSE 16 MARCH 2012

Charging for parking helps the County and Borough Council effectively and efficiently manage on street parking in Surrey and has the following benefits:
• ‘Pay and display’ makes short term parking easier to enforce and helps improves turnover of the available parking space making retail areas more accessible and helping local businesses. (Editor’s note: SCC, ask The Haslemere Chamber Trade about their parking  survey.)
• Free on street and ‘pay and display’ off-street parking encourages drivers to look for on street parking and increases congestion and CO² emissions in town centres. (Editor’s note, But SCC, you increase congestion and CO² emissions by hoping commuters will be dropped off by spouses and by hoping commuters drive for miles to a different station.)
• A policy of setting higher charges for on-street ‘premium’ spaces also encourages drivers to go straight to a car park, reducing congestion. (Editor’s note, the car park is FULL. Commuters would go to a multi-storey car park if it existed and pricing was not prohibitive. There is demand via a waiting list.)
• A reduction in free parking encourages alternative modes of travel to the motorcar. (Editor: see above.)

If only 20 change their behaviour? What about Waverley Borough Council’s plans to reduce the current 200 spaces  to just 130 spaces in the Weyhill car park of which 74 are commuter spaces?

Haslemereparking.com is a sensible, open and democratic forum to share ideas about parking proposals in Haslemere. Readers, is there anything sensible, open or democratic about Surrey County Council’s and Waverley Borough Council’s parking proposals for Haslemere?