Surrey’s Parking Proposals for Weybridge

Surrey’s two-yearly parking review proposal for Weybridge is planned to be advertised this August. We’ll send out another notice when we get the date. Apart from a minor permit change in one scheme, all the proposals bar one is recommended because of safety.  The exception is the proposal for Wey Road which some people say is a solution looking for a problem.

When the proposals are advertised you will be able to offer your comments, objections or support for any of the schemes.  You do not have to live in the street concerned.  The Weybridge streets with changes are:

Anderson Road. Allow additional properties to be eligible to apply for permits with the parking scheme 142 Oatlands Drive and 120 Oatlands Drive

Barham Close

Castle Road

Cedar Grove

Churchill Drive

Cross Road.  Allow additional properties to be eligible to apply for permits with the parking scheme 142 Oatlands Drive and 120 Oatlands Drive

Drynham Park

Egerton Road

Fortescue Road

Kemble Close

Oatlands Chase

Oatlands Drive

Park Lawn Road

Parkway

Pennington Drive

Radnor Road

Ronneby Close

Rosslyn Park

Round Oak Road – see Wey Road

Rylands Place

St George’s Avenue

St Mary’s Road

The Paddocks


Vale Court. Allow additional properties to be eligible to apply for permits with the parking scheme 142 Oatlands Drive and 120 Oatlands Drive

Vale Road

Wey Road

The history.

The parking engineers do not believe that comprehensive parking controls are required for Wey Road and Round Oak Road.

The reason is quite simple, parking controls are introduced to meet concerns about the four main criteria:

  • Safety
  • Access
  • Congestion
  • Parking stress

Even a casual observer would recognise that Wey Road in does not fall into any of these criteria (except at the entrances which were dealt with already).

However, a petition was submitted by Michael O’Sullivan of Wey Road to the
5 December 2019 committee:

Expand further, as part of its 2019/20 Elmbridge Parking Review, the existing Controlled Parking Zone presently covering Elmgrove Road and Oakdale Road in Weybridge (and soon also to encompass Dorchester Road and Gascoigne Road) to include Wey Road and Round Oak Road. 

The petition raised 64 signatures.  Surrey does not verify the petitioners’ location.

Surrey parking professionals replied.

The existing parking scheme in Elmgrove Road and Oakdale Road, which will also be introduced shortly in Dorchester Road and Gascoigne Road is not technically a controlled parking zone, but a resident permit parking scheme. It is the county council’s policy to introduce resident permit parking controls in roads where residents with insufficient off street parking face undue competition from non-residents for the existing on-street parking space, which is the case in these four roads, but is not the case in Wey Road and Round Oak Road. Therefore to extend the scheme would not be appropriate. In the additional details supplied by the petition creator, there is a suggestion of introducing some sort of short stay parking in Wey Road and Round Oak Road, although the details are not clear. However it is generally considered that the type of parking most lacking in Weybridge is free long term parking (for employees working in local businesses and shops, for example), not short stay parking, of which plenty is already provided for free on the High Street and in other surrounding roads, as well as the various off street car parks in the town. So it is not necessary to introduce more short term parking in these two roads.

The possibility of introducing new parking controls or restrictions in Wey Road and Round Oak Road, and in other roads in the area, or changing existing controls, may be considered as part of the next parking review. This will provide sufficient time to allow for the new parking controls in Dorchester Road and Gascoigne Road to be implemented, and for the impacts of them to be assessed, before making any decisions about the introduction of any more parking controls in the area.

In response Mike O’Sullivan told the Surrey Local Committee that between 750 and 1000 commuter vehicles park in Weybridge each year  The town needs long stay parking, but not at the expense of short term parking and inconvenience for residents.  He is not requesting a resident only parking scheme and wants to make space available for short term parking for those wanting to access the town for shopping or business.

Mike O’Sullivan’s estimate of how many commuters arrive in the town centre might even be an underestimate but as many residents drive outside of Weybridge in the morning.  The net requirement could be negative.  Initial surveys suggest that for all we know more people could leave central Weybridge than enter).

Committee Decision
The Surrey Local Committee decided that the Parking Strategy and Implementation Manager to consider and agree the details of parking restrictions in Wey Road and Round Oak Road to be added to the 2019/20 parking review, in consultation with the divisional member and Local Committee Chairman.

Professionals‘ proposal
As the committee asked the parking professionals to come up with a special scheme they naturally did so.

Introduce a controlled parking zone covering Wey Road and Round Oak Road, operating Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm. Introduce DYLs (No Waiting At Any Time) and singe yellow lines and double yellow lines to prevent obstructive parking. Introduce parking bays – ‘Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm permit holders or 3hrs no return to zone’ ~ 27 spaces. This will allow permit holders (i.e. residents) to park in these bays for an unlimited amount of time, and anyone else to park for up to three hours for free. Introduce parking bays – ‘Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm 3hrs or pay by phone for longer stay’ ~ 63 spaces. This will allow anyone to park for up to three hours for free or pay a small fee to stay for longer, with a tariff of 50p/hr for the paid for period. An administration fee of 19p would apply to each transaction.

Road marking and signs
The controlled parking zone would require signs at the entry and exit points, and the parking bays would require upright signing. Key permit eligibility details (full details are listed in the draft TRO):

  • Residents eligible to apply for all permit types are those occupying any residential address in Wey Road or Round Oak Road.
  • The cost for a resident permit is £50pa for the first permit, and £75pa for any subsequent permits issued.
  • The maximum number of resident permits issuable per place of abode is calculated by the number of vehicles registered to the property minus the number of off street spaces at the property.
  • The maximum number of resident visitor permits issuable per place of abode per year is 120, at a cost of £2 per permit. Each permit lasts all day and is specific to the registration number of a visitor’s vehicle.
  • Permit types available within this scheme are residents, visitors, carers and operational.
  • There are no business permits.

Only one Weybridge Riverside councillors was permitted to speak.  Cllr Ashley Tilling made a good speech but only a couple of other councillors raised concerns and those demonstrated their lack of understand the parking controls implementation process.

After a final roundup by Cllr Tim Oliver the committee decided the following.

That the Local Committee (Elmbridge) agreed that:

  1. The county council’s intention to introduce the proposal shown in Annex 1 (map above) is formally advertised, and subject to statutory consultation.
  2. If objections are received the Parking Strategy and Implementation Team Manager is authorised to try and resolve them;

iii. If any objections cannot be resolved, the Parking Strategy and Implementation Team Manager, in consultation with the Chairman/Vice Chairman of this committee and the county councillor for the division, decides whether or not they should be acceded to and therefore whether the order should be made, with or without modifications.

Reasons: To better manage parking demand in Wey Road and Round Oak Road, so as to improve access for short term parking for visitors to the Weybridge area, whilst maintaining parking as needed by residents and their visitors.

Baker Street – Covid 19 Active Travel Measures

Finally Action is Taken

Following the British government’s recent announcements, Surrey has been working to identify potential active travel schemes across the county.  The government has given councils the authority to introduce emergency measures during the coronavirus pandemic to support social distancing within towns and to promote alternative ways to travel such as walking and cycling.

Surrey has been working with their partners to identify potential locations where improved spaces for walkers and cyclists would help residents to get out and about as lockdown is gradually lifted. One site that has been chosen to introduce these temporary measures is Baker Street.  This site has been chosen because of the shops and businesses but with the narrow footways there is not enough space for pedestrians to circulate and maintain social distancing.

Surrey will be introducing a tactical closure by means of three planters across the road – between Springfield Meadows and the Borough Council car park.  This will remove all through traffic from Baker Street. The road will be fully accessible for pedestrians and cyclists to return and support the shops and businesses like yourselves, with the removal of through traffic and resulting reduced overall traffic levels helping to provide space.

Only cyclists will be permitted to pass through the tactical closure on the road.  Access for pedestrians will not be affected.  All other vehicles will have to use alternate routes to access

Access for residents of Parkside and Springfield Meadows will be via the Hifgh Street and access for Hillcrest residents will be via Monument Hill. Road access to the off street car park will be via Monument Hill. The closure will be signed on the approaches to each end of Baker Street.

What is Surrey hoping to achieve?

It’s vital that people are able to stay safe when cycling and walking, and to have the space they need to pass each other safely. This is particularly necessary in response to the Government’s strategic objective:

“Local authorities in areas with high levels of public transport use should take measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling, both to encourage active travel and to enable social distancing during restart (social distancing in this context primarily refers to the need for people to stay two metres apart where possible when outdoors). Local authorities where public transport use is low should be considering all possible measures.  Measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect

Funding

Surrey was granted £848,000 by the government to support the roll out of active travel schemes across the county, but not the full £1.69 million grant which Surrey had bid for. Surrey is therefore matching the money received from the government, so the projects can still go ahead.

Is this temporary?

These are temporary emergency active travel schemes and are intended to be for approximately three months. It is anticipated there will be additional longer term strategic active travel measures that will be prioritised and developed.

Why has there been no consultation?

These are temporary emergency active travel measures to meet the challenge of being able to stay safe when cycling and walking, and to have the space needed to pass each other safely, as we recover from the COVID 19 restrictions. This is in response to the reduced capacity on public transport and to build on the changes in travel choices that have seen a marked increase in active travel.  Throughout the development of this scheme, consultation has taken place with the publicly elected members for both Surrey County Council and Elmbridge Borough Council.  Surrey Police have also been consulted.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to consult with all affected residents and business owners about these temporary emergency active travel schemes due to the tight timescales set by the Government. However, the views of residents and business representatives are welcome and will be noted and taken into consideration.  This may lead to tweaks to the current pilot schemes as conditions settle down or issues are identified. These will help inform any changes of approach for emergency active travel measures in other locations.

What if it is not successful, will the measures be kept in place for the entire trial?

The scheme has been subject to an independent Road Safety Audit during its development, however sometimes schemes operate in practice differently to how they were designed, and safety assessed, even after the initial change has had time to settle.  These temporary measures will be continuously monitored to assess both for ongoing road safety and effectiveness at supporting cycling and walking.

Feedback from residents and businesses is vital throughout the duration of the scheme to ensure a successful outcome for Baker Street, and the surrounding community.  Comments can be by sent to Surrey via email highways@surreycc.gov.uk or by phone on 0300 200 1003.

Further Information

The Point Closure is scheduled to installed within the next 4-5 weeks. Advanced Warning Signs detailing the start date of the restrictions will be placed around Baker Street and surrounding roads to give motorists, businesses and residents warning of when the changes will start.

Up to date information on details of any works in progress, or planned to take place can be found on the Surrey County Council website here;  https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/roadworks-and-maintenance/maintenance/roads/department-for-transport-capital-funding/roads-and-pavements

 

Gerrymandering

This morning’s discussion at the Cafe One in Baker Street could not help but include the recent inauguration of the American President.

I was surprised, perhaps I should not have been, how unaware British people appear to be regarding the nature of American democracy.  Unlike in Europe, elections in America are often heavily manipulated.  In Europe, where most states have proportional representation, manipulation is almost impossible.  In England, unlike the rest of Britain, we almost exclusively use the first-past-the-post election method and so manipulation is possible but guarded against by the use of an arms-length boundary commission.   Not so in America. The lower house of the America parliament has constituencies and each one elects one member.  To protect the incumbent the political parties change the make-up of the electorate.  If a neighbourhood votes the “wrong” way it is excluded from the constituency and if it votes the “right” way it is included. Over time this produces constituencies with bizarre shapes. The example below. Illinois district 4, shows a constituency that almost entirely surrounds another one.

In some American states the situation is so bad that the state could not pass the basic democratic conditions required to join the European Union.  North Carolina below.

This gerrymandering does not affect the election of the America President.  However, other methods are used instead.  Collectively they are know as voter suppression.  The main types of voter suppression are:

  • Spurious removal of voters from the electoral role
  • Unequal spread of polling stations – poorer areas have fewer stations
  • Misinformation for postal voting – making voters miss deadlines
  • Unequal polling station opening times
  • Unequal voter identification techniques – requiring a driving licence
  • Banning convicted criminals for life
  • Arduous voting registration requirements

Elmbridge staff put a great effort in trying to get people on to the electoral role.  In America there are many organisations that help people to get registered.  However, some American organisations do their best to make sure people never get registered or once there try and remove them.

Some American academics have suggested that the total effect of voter suppression in the recent presidential election was sufficient to change the result in the electoral college.

What are your priorities for Elmbridge?

When the new Liberal Democrat / Residents’ coalition became Elmbridge borough’s administration we set four tasks for our first year – all of which are on target.

 

The municipal year begins in May and in readiness we want to engage with all residents in developing our priorities for next year and beyond.

As part of that ongoing communication we have arranged a meeting for you to share your views and ask questions about key issues for your borough.

‘Prospects and Priorities’ is a public meeting to be held on Wednesday, 18 January at the Civic Centre in Esher.  Elmbridge councillors and staff will be available to discuss the current concerns of residents, from planning to recycling, affordable housing to traffic management. Make sure you arrive early for the drop-in session from 6-7pm, when you can chat informally with councillors and officers, after which, at 7pm, there will be a presentation and question and answer session with Councillor Stuart Selleck, Leader of Elmbridge Borough.

Registration for the presentation part of the evening is advisable because there is a limit to the seating capacity. Email  or call 01372 474 376

Planning Consultation

Your chance to see and shape the next twenty years of planning in Elmbridge

At 7pm, Tuesday, 10 January in the Library building on the first floor

Weybridge will see the first of six public exhibitions outlining the borough’s proposals for providing more affordable and social housing.  This is in response to the national government’s call for local government to produce proposals for meeting housing needs in their areas.

Key documents will be available in hard copy and officers and councillors will be there to talk with you about the proposals.  Key features for residents to consider are around what happens to existing Green Belt boundaries.

The public consultation on these proposals closes on 10 February.

This is the first of several public consultation meetings, so if you cannot make it tonight, there are others you can attend.  Dates and venues to follow.

Elmbridge agrees new waste contract with Amey

waste_managementResidents in Elmbridge, Mole Valley, Surrey Heath and Woking are to receive an improved waste and recycling collection service thanks to a new joint waste collection contract.

As well as a better service, the contract with Amey will save taxpayers more than £2 million a year. It is the first contract of its kind in Surrey, and was part-funded by the Surrey Waste Partnership and supported by Surrey County Council as the waste disposal authority.

The contract covers all aspects of waste collection including household waste, recycling, garden waste, recycling banks, clinical waste, replacement bins and the opportunity to introduce a commercial waste service. It will also include street cleaning and associated activities including street sweeping, bin emptying, weed control, graffiti removal, and fly-tipping and fly-posting clearance. The contract will last for 10 years, with the option to extend.

Improvements, which will be introduced when the new contract begins in each area, include:

  • A weekly collection of clothes, home textiles and small electricals.
  • An improved bulky waste service, including a collection from inside homes.
  • New collection vehicles with enhanced safety features like 360 degree cameras
  • New technology which will give residents the latest information on their collection.

Additionally, food waste will still be collected on the same day each week as waste or recycling, but it may be at a different time as it will be collected by a separate vehicle. If other changes are necessary, such as altering collection days, they will be communicated well in advance to avoid any confusion or inconvenience.

The contract will begin in Elmbridge in June 2017 when the current contract comes to an end. Other Surrey councils have the opportunity to join as the contract progresses.

New Weybridge Conservation area

templemereElmbridge is proposing to designate a new conservation area in Weybridge. In recognition of the unique 1960s built Templemere Estate, the borough has produced a Character Area Appraisal and Management Plan consultation document and is keen to hear the views of local residents and organisations.

A conservation area is defined as, “an area of special interest; the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”. The character appraisal document provides written definition, analysis and appraisal of what makes an individual area special and identifies actions for protection and improvement. The final document will be used by planners and the local community as a basis for understanding the area, informing decision making, monitoring and management.

There are 25 conservation areas designated in Elmbridge and these include historic town centres at Esher and Weybridge, village greens at Giggs Hill in Thames Ditton and The Tilt in Cobham, a 1920s philanthropic retirement village at Whiteley Village, motor racing circuit at Brooklands and 17th century river navigation channels along the River Wey. Lakeside Drive in Esher was the first example of modern 20th century architecture which was awarded conservation area status by the borough in 2014.

Community involvement is an essential part of any appraisal and the consultation document has been produced as part of a collaborative process involving local residents, amenity and conservation societies and planning officers and was co-coordinated by heritage consultants. There is now a six-week period of public consultation, which will run from 5 December. The appraisal document is available to view on the borough’s website and printed copies can also be viewed in the reception area of the Civic Centre on Esher High Street.

Extra support during a power cut?

power-cutAlthough power cuts don’t happen very often when they do they can be worrying.  UK Power Networks is the electricity network and it provides a ‘Priority Services Register’ for people who might need extra help in a power cut.  Older people, families with very young children, and people with specific medical conditions are among the many people who are eligible to register for free support.  You can find more details and register by visiting the website or calling 0800 169 9970.

Affordable Housing for Elmbridge

monopoly_housesElmbridge’s new Liberal Democrat led administration is developing plans to increase the number of affordable and social homes across the borough.  There is much planning to do before significant results can be seen.  However, the borough hopes to bring forward a scheme for 38 new affordable homes, subject to the agreement of the borough’s council on Wednesday, 7 December.

British Government orders Green Belt Review

Green Belt CountrysideAs many of you will know, the British Government has told the English boroughs to review their Green Belts with a view to opening land for development.  If a borough refuses to do so then the British government has said it will take direct control.

This has left the Liberal Democrat led Elmbridge administration little option but to revise our own local plan.  We wish to built a broad local approach and the Conservative opposition has been very much involved in every stage of the development.

Before we can agree a new local plan we have to pass though a number of stages and we need you to help in that process so we have published a strategic options consultation.   The document asks many questions and raises a number of issues.

We want to consult as widely as possible and will use every available means to engage with the public.  Part of this process is to have a number of consultations at various stages in the drafting of the plan.  The first drop in sessions will be at:

7pm – 9pm, Monday, 23 January at the Playhouse, Walton
7pm – 9pm, Thursday, 26 January at the Civic Centre, Esher
10am – 2pm, Saturday, 4 February at the Civic Centre, Esher

The events will consist of exhibition boards where the headlines of the consultation document will be displayed.  The evidence base documents supporting the consultation will also be available to review and representatives from Elmbridge’s planning policy team will be on-hand to answer any of your questions.

Your can attend any of the events.  The exhibition will be borough-wide, that is not specific to any particular town.

This process is subject to the agreement to the borough’s council  on Wednesday, 7 December