What do the @SurreyCouncil recommendations mean?

We shared the Recommendations documents in the forum on the day they were published, here.

In summary:

  • Pay and Display has been dropped from the retail areas, ie the High Street, West Street, Weyhill and Lion Lane, (which is great, and of course the easiest to drop as it represented only 36 P&D spaces, i.e. it wasn’t a big cash raiser)
  • Pay and Display to be introduced on Weydown Road, Derby Road, Courts Hill Road, Kings Road, St Christopher’s Green, Bunch Lane, Church Road and possibly sections of Beech Road: some introduced immediately, others deferred until June 2012 with amendments (no free half hour, £1 per hour/max £5 per day) (a total of approx 170 on street pay and display spaces).
  • Residents permits mostly introduced as per original proposals with some deferred with amendments until June, 2012, double and single yellow lines largely introduced as per proposals.

The plans seem to generate maximum revenue, in particular targeting all-day on-street parkers, i.e commuters using the station, and those working in the town.  It does not address the problem of where everyone will park. It actually makes things worse by reducing the number of on-street parking spaces by painting formal parking bays and more double yellow lines and introducing residents only parking bays. It simply shifts the parking problem around the town to other roads, directly and indirectly affecting most of us who live in and visit the town.  There is no evidence that the proposals are about managing traffic or parking in the town.

From the Minutes 16 December 2011 Local Committee (Waverley) meeting:

57/11 PROPOSED ON-STREET PARKING CHARGES IN WAVERLEY (Item 11)
Members sought clarity about the proposal that parking enforcement in each area of the borough should not operate at a deficit and noted that effective enforcement would be a prerequisite in achieving this. In this respect it was hoped that there would be some flexibility in considering such matters, across the immediate boundaries of the Task Group areas.

In relation to Haslemere, the range of views was acknowledged (Editor’s note, although the bias of the range – for or against –  is not stated specifically in the minutes). It was confirmed that the extent of any implemented scheme would be reviewed in the light of any future construction of a multi-storey car-park, which was seen as being in 2014 at the earliest.

The Chairman invited Mrs Carole King, Executive Member with responsibility for parking at Waverley Borough Council, to comment on the proposals. The need for effective enforcement was stressed, along with a hope that in due course synergy between the two councils in this respect may be achieved.

Officers were thanked for the quality of the report and for the local engagement that had taken place. (Editor’s note, local engagement?! Readers, do you agree? Quality of the report?! More about the report later…)

Waverley synergy…we wrote about the Weyhill car park plans, where the site will be re-surfaced and will become pay & display. Weyhill refurbishment plus P&D = revenue raising and further displacement. A question for you readers: Is it synergy in filling the coffers or is it synergy in doing the right thing, in the right way? In those minutes referenced above, indeed in all the minutes, reports, articles read by The Editor there has still been no mention of what the parking requirement is in Haslemere.

At the Haslemere Hall meeting, 24th January 2012, Professor Vincent Marks (page 30) said:

I recommend that you actually read what has been published, you look on the web and look at the maps. They are available. Some of us have looked at these things. I suggest that if more information available — no, but the information is available — if you actually looked for it and used it, then it would have been a much more informative meeting than it has been.

Oh Professor Vincent Marks, your Editor has done as you asked! I have read every document relating to it. I’ve even read my dusty old university Economics text books. I’ve looked for the evidence that the proposals are about managing traffic or parking in the town. I’ve not found any.

Surrey County Council’s research to formulate the parking strategy was mentioned in an earlier blog post about the On Street Parking Task Group report and received minuted thanks (as mentioned above.) To re-cap, establishing the case for on street parking in Surrey, it cites these references:

  1. Retail Assessment, 2004 (Editor’s note: No author name.)
  2. Retail Distinctiveness of Market Towns, 2009 (Editor’s note: No author name.)
  3. Parking Pricing Implementation guidelines, Litman 2010
  4. RAC/British Retail Consortium, 2006 (Editor’s note: No Title)
  5. DfT survey (Editor’s note: No date. No Title)
  6. Booz 2006 – Booz Allen Hamilton (2006), International Approaches to Tackling Transport Congestion Paper 2: Parking Restraint Measures, Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission

I read 3 & 6. Very fascinating. References 1, 2, 4 and 5 – missing authors, titles, dates…no idea where to find these.

Litman 2010 states in reference 3 (albeit in the context of Victoria, British Columbia which has approximately 80,000 residents):

Parking pricing is just one of several parking management strategies…It tends to be most effective and beneficial if implemented as part of an integrated parking management program that includes support strategies such as increased parking options, improved user information, and better enforcement.

Litman makes the point that better enforcement is NOT the only element. Increased parking options and improved user information – Where is the evidence of those two elements for Haslemere? Professor, help me out here!

As for the Booz Allen Hamilton report, it was recognised in an earlier blog post:

It’s based on research of towns and cities across the world. The cities researched are in Australia, USA and Europe. Population sizes for the study are very broad. No town/city in Surrey is cited…it’s hard to know which UK city/town in the study (Sheffield, York, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Canterbury and London) might be comparable to rural Haslemere.

And! In the minutes of the 16th December 2011 meeting, that statement “thanked for the quality of the report”?! On Friday, residents will learn what the Local Committee (Waverley) thinks about the quality of the recommendations.

Oxford Dictionaries definition of *quality*: The degree of excellence of something.

Urban Dictionary definition of *quality*: (number 5) When there are no higher words to use. Perfect to use in comical situations.

What do you think, readers?

 

5 comments for “What do the @SurreyCouncil recommendations mean?

  1. AW1957
    10/03/2012 at 20:06

    I opt for Urban Dictionary definition because if you didn’t laugh you’d cry.

  2. AndrewLoves
    11/03/2012 at 09:42

    Shame on you SCC for trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

    It looks like they wrote the report, then added the references after to give the appearance this was a well researched document.

    Thank you Editor for taking the time to summarise, greatly appreciated.

  3. Dangermouse
    13/03/2012 at 17:02

    Oh, where to start?
    Initially the idea that “parking fines enforcement should be self-financed” is at best, optimistic and at worst is downright laughable.
    The idea of penalising offending parkers is to keep the roads clear, not to generate revenue, so if the education and enforcement combine correctly, the scheme should generate zero income and the roads will be safe for everyone.
    Parking is an issue, of course it is, however it should not make the population slaves to the car and the few who chose to use it.
    Commuters should be encouraged to use the car as little as possible. Those who genuinely have “no alternative” but to use the car should be provided with adequate facilities to park safely in order to access their employment or the public transport systems. (On a personal note: I know of commuters who drive less than 600meters to park for the station – genuine, indisputable fact) The failings of the public transport providers or the local authorities to provide these facilities are almost certainly due to a lack of forward-thinking strategies that would have prevented this situation from arising in the first place.
    School run times are also a point of conflict for “normal” road users and parents/carers. The workers, transport professionals and other drivers have to contend with a group of narrow-minded, blinkered, inconsiderate idiots who have utter disregard for the highway code or the possibility that there are other people on the roads who also have right of way. Pedestrians often get short shrift here, being run into by cars parking on the pavement or clouted by doors thrown open in haste. It is inconceivable that every car that arrives for school run cannot find a more friendly alternative. Is it so difficult to walk, even as far as a whole mile, to drop the students off in time for their day’s education at a school that often promotes “walk to school” initiatives to help reduce carbon footprints and reduce environmental impact.
    It seems to me that the loudest voices of dissension are those who want to have maximum convenience for themselves, frequently at the expense of everyone else. Those few of us that are in support of action to tackle the issues and contentions of the parking problems seem to be treated as criminals and outcasts.
    For schools to open up playgrounds for parking during event days, or to offer alternative methods of getting staff/pupils/volunteers to the school would be very low-cost and massively beneficial.
    For the station to have decent parking is an issue for the County or the Rail operators to address. For Haslemere a 3-story car park on the fairground would be great, dig down and make an underground level and go up just one floor to minimise the visual impact would more than triple the available space. Make the station a double-level too and suddenly there’s a five-fold increase in the space for rail commuters, that’s if the “local planning committee” doesn’t block the plans as they are “not in keeping with the surroundings”.
    I can’t attend the super-special-important meeting in Witley as I have a Job to keep so I can pay the bills, so I can’t voice my views in person.

  4. Paul M
    17/03/2012 at 10:13

    We should lay a few myths.

    Parking revenues cannot be used to subsidise the council tax or the local authority expenditure budget. Surpluses can be applied to a very limited range of applications. Firstly, they can fund the provision of parking, or parking enforcement. Beyind that they can be used for some other transport purposes.

    Surrey CC has stated, and I can well believe it, that the parking enforcement across the county operates at a deficit. You shoudl remember that a few years ago, parking enforcement was the responsibility of the police. They were then relieved of that responsibility, which they abandoned with alost indecent alacrity, and County Councils had no alternative arrangements in place – not just Surrey, but across the country.

    The result was chaos, as there was now no effective parking enforcement except where it became a police matter due to obstruction of emergency vehicles etc.

    Illegal parking is a bane on society. It creates dangerous situations for all road users but especially pedestrians, and especially among them children, the elderly and disabled. Parking on dropped kerbs obstructs wheelchair users and mothers with pushchairs. Parking with two wheels on the pavement obstructs entire footways and forces pedestrians out onto the road and into conflict with traffic. Parking close to junctions obstructs sightlines for motorists and pedestrians alike, again causing danger.

    So we need enforcement, and it has to be paid for. At present the council tax payer is paying a significant portion of the enforcement bill. The county rightly believes that the enforcee, ie the motorist, should be picking up this bill, especially as some of them are not residents of their area so are not contributing to it through their council taxes.

    No-one is going to build the much-demanded multistorey car park at the station unless they can be sure of collecting parking charges to pay for its construction. This won’t hepen while commuters can park for free in surrounding streets.

    And they don’t park on the street because there is no space in the car parks. I come through Weydown Road carpark every weekday morning at about 7:50 – not early – and there are always at least a dozen empty spaces still. Meanwhile there will be about the same number of cars parked in the lower reaches of Bunch Lane. If I travel earlier, I will still see many cars in the street, and the car park will be half-empty.

    I also concur with dangermouse’s view that some people travel ridiculously short distances to park near the station. I know of at least two Stoatley Rise residents who park around the station – saving less than 3/4 mile or 10 minutes walking. Both are able-bodied.

    We need control over parking in the residential streets of Haslemere. Ultimately we need to stop it, apart from residents and short term- visitors as has happened in New Road close to Witley station by imposing a 2-hour limit. That can only be dpome bu imposing charges so that Network Rail can project an economic return from parking charges as street parkers displavce back to a new multistorey facility.

  5. haslemerehetty
    17/03/2012 at 12:00

    Also picking up on dangermouse’s and Paul M’s view that some people travel ridiculously short distances to park near the station.

    I also know of such lazy people.

    Mind you I can’t blame them – now that we have a mass of double yellow lines appearing, walking just became a whole lot more dangerous from the speeding cars rat-running the side roads.

    Doesn’t South West Trains/Railtrack have a record of permit holders addresses?

    These stats would make for very interesting reading. I wonder what percentage live beyond a 20 minute walk?

    Surely this is a simple effective way (of many) to help the car parking situation?

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