Finally a decision on parking restrictions around Eltham to be made soon?

Eltham Councillors have been informed that in the near future, Council Officers should be producing a report for the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability to introduce the Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) around Eltham which were agreed years ago.

The changes to the CPZs are a response to the residents’ surveys which were completed in November 2018 which were themselves the response to previous changes made by the Council, including introducing parking restrictions near to Eltham Park.  It is a shame that the changes have taken so long to happen and I have raised the frustration residents felt in Council on numerous occasions (for example #26 in Members’ Questions at the July 2019 meeting).

A summary of the expected new proposals (as provided by Council Officers) can be found below:

“North West Sector (area around Well Hall Road / Admiral Seymour Road etc. – shown on Plan 1)

Plan 1 – Progress Estate CPZ Review – AMENDED PROPOSALS

The consultation results for this area showed a 16% response rate with 52% supporting the proposal, 39% not supportive and 9% not expressing a view.

 The main change here to the proposals consulted on results from a complaint from Progress Hall (located on Admiral Seymour Rd) about the impact on users of the hall of proposed ‘permit holder only’ bays being introduced on the residential roads around the hall.  Many of the hall users are reported to be community groups and the objection from the hall states, in part, that “we object to any partial or half way proposals. There is no middle ground for any form of parking-controlled zone that are in operation as our users and staff have to bring equipment supplies park close to the hall at different time throughout the day”  The full correspondence from Progress Hall, and some of the hall users, will be included in the appendices to the decision report mentioned above.

Although the objection from Progress Hall to the proposals effectively rejects the introduction of controls at all, it is proposed to make a number of changes to the scheme consulted on to mitigate some of the concerns.  Firstly, some disabled bays are proposed directly in front of Progress Hall to assist blue badge holders.  Secondly, the bays on Well Hall Road itself, principally on the western side, while retaining the 30 minute free parking period included in the consultation proposal, will also have Pay and Display for up to four hours.  This will allow users of Progress Hall, and patrons of shops on Tudor Parade and Odeon Parade, to park for a longer period while still allowing 30 minutes free.  Similar to the arrangement on Eltham High Street the 30 minute free period will require a ticket to be obtained from the P&D machine.  Also, the hall operators could purchase up to ten business permits which can be non-vehicle specific and therefore could be lent to hall users (and returned after use).  Similarly, business visitor vouchers could be purchased by Progress Hall and issued to users as appropriate.  Under the Terms & Conditions of use of the vouchers the hall could recharge hall users (albeit not for profit) for their use.  It also should be noted that there are good public transport links here with several bus services operating on Well Hall Road and adjacent roads and Eltham railway and bus stance a short walk away.

North East Sector (Eltham Park Gardens – shown on Plan 2)

Plan 2 – Eltham Park CPZ Review – AMENDED PROPOSALS

The responses from this area showed a 48% response rate with 58% supporting the proposal, 35% not supportive and 7% not expressing a view.  However, although responses from the part of Eltham Park Gardens to the west of Glenesk Road were supportive of the scheme (77% supportive, 16% not supportive), those from the eastern end were not – 10% supportive, 80% not supportive.

It has been the experience with several zones recently where residents, who have initially not supported controls being implemented, have experienced displacement and then pressed for changes to be made.   The Council’s Parking Strategy states that parking controls should, as far as practicable, be “future proofed” to avoid this situation.  It is envisaged that should the eastern section of Eltham Park Gardens not be included within the controlled area it will quickly experience displacement.  To avoid this, and the resulting need to undertake further consultation, amendments to traffic orders etc. with associated additional costs, it is proposed that this part of Eltham Park Gardens is brought under CPZ controls.  Residents do have an opportunity to object through the formal consultation undertaken as part of the statutory traffic order making process.  Should there be objections submitted it may be that the case that the eastern section of Eltham Park Gardens is excluded from controls, although it would be made clear to those residents that the controls would not be further reviewed for around two years or so.”

Clearly these proposals are going to be subject to some debate – the topic of parking restrictions in any road often leads to heated discussions, but if you have a comment to make please do contact Cllr Charlie Davis or myself so that we can make sure that your views are considered as part of this process.

This whole process has been going on for some time and so anything we can do to make it happen in a way which is supported by most residents would be positive.