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.

Green Belt Threat

Green Belt CountrysideThe national government has asked all local governments to review their green belts with a view to opening them up for development – Elmbridge is no exception.  Half the borough is designated as green belt (not to be confused with rural landscapes as above) and so its defence will have to be argued robustly.  We will be doing so with vigour.

The new administration of Liberal Democrats and its coalition allies is already building a coherent justification of our green belt and will ensure that is purpose of preventing urban coalescence is maintained.  A definitive Elmbridge policy on Green Belt in relation to local housing needs must be in place by the end of 2018.  That might seems far away but there is much work to do.

Elmbridge has to define why it needs it green belt.  It cannot just see “because”.  There has to be a reason in planning terms.  We can protect countryside for a number of reasons regardless of whether it is in the green belt or not.  It could be a site of special scientific interest, a defined view, an ancient woodland, a common or land owned by the National Trust.

The National Planning Policy Framework determines, in paragraph eighty, that the Green Belt serves five purposes:

  1. to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
  2. to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
  3. to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
  4. to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
  5. to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

In Elmbridge we cannot use points four and five because they do not apply but clearly one can use the first three.  Regarding point one – how much of a gap do you think there should be between London and the towns in Elmbridge?  Presently there is no gap between Ditton and Surbiton; none between Molesey and Ditton; but there is a gap between Molesey and Walton and Ditton and Esher.  Weybridge already coalesces with Walton but the gap between Weybridge and Hersham is only about 100m wide.

In Weybridge our countryside is often further protected because the land is in the flood plain, owned by the National Trust or common land.

Parking Meeting – 14 July

Oakdale RoadAt a well attended meeting hosted by Weybridge Lib Dems, residents from across Weybridge discussed parking issues in Weybridge generally and specifically the Surrey Council Council proposals for parking in Weybridge for the next three years.

The meeting believed that consultation had not been full enough, that there was an absence of strategic thinking and that the changes made did little to address the overall issues faced by Weybridge residents, workers and businesses.

Several voices at the town meeting called for a more fundamental and strategic review of parking needs and provision in Weybridge and stressed that this must included consideration of increasing off-street parking (an Elmbridge responsibility).

Feedback from discussion groups are reported under the following themed headings below: general, schools, car parks, controlled parking and other.

General

  1. Strategic approach for better movement of traffic and safety for all road users.
  2. Lack of parking for workers is the number one issue.
  3. Parking controls cause displacement and causes workers to park further and further away from the town centre.
  4. There should be incentives for workers not to park in the town.
  5. The controlled parking in the town centre and Portmore Park causing more drivers to park in Grotto Park – particularly Old Palace Road. Making it dangerous for cyclists.  Grass areas now being parked on making the town less pleasant than it could be.
  6. Street privatisation not the answer to displacement parking.

Schools

  1. Schools should be looked at in their own right – specific issues across all. Most school exacerbating other problems.
  2. Accessing additional areas: for example, the field behind St Georges School for drop off and pick up or staff.
  3. St George’s School should be obliged to provide parking and have responsibility for managing drop-off and pick-up.

Car Parks

  1. Park and ride for workers in Weybridge from Brooklands or Runnymede Centre. Use incentives such as a reward card.
  2. Spaces do exist but aren’t accessed.  For example, a Weybridge Hospital are virtually unused at by staff at night and weekends and could be used by residents
  3. Build a multi-storey car park at Churchfields, the hospital or the station with park and ride.
  4. Convert open spaces into car parks: the meadow in Churchfields Avenue or Whittets Ait Green.
  5. Businesses should subsidise workers’ parking in car parks in Weybridge.
  6. Better utilisation of car parks: for example, Churchfields pushes people to park on street. Squeeze more cars in with specific spaces for small cars.  Restrict Churchfields to 2-3 hours which would increase turnover to shops as well.

Controlled Parking

  1. Mark-up up bays to help drivers park more considerately (no charges) just lines to help avoid overhanging other people’s off-street parking.
  2. Limit controlled parking zone to two hours only somewhere between 10am and 4pm.
  3. Limit no parking from 10-11am and 2-3pm to limit all day parking.
  4. Residents’ only parking from 6pm to 8am – overnight.
  5. Oakdale/Elmgrove Road allow two-hour parking for non-residents – 10am to 3pm
  6. Inconsiderate parking near drives and corners.
  7. Offer business user permits for specific streets.
  8. Comprehensive restrictions for residents’ permits – only one per house or flat. Hugh premium for extra cars.
  9. Send parking enforcement to particular hot spots at strategic times. For example, school streets at school times and Limes Road etc in the evenings/weekends.

Other points

  1. Encourage residents to rent out off-street space.
  2. Parking in Monument Road makes it difficult for pedestrians to pass, particularly when children are coming out of school.
  3. It would improve the High Street to have fewer parking places.
  4. 20mph zone is ignored and not policed – especially bad in Portmore Park Road and St Alban’s Avenue.
  5. Car Share scheme.

Road closure

ROAD-CLOSURESBrooklands road will be closed from its junction with St George’s Avenue to its junction with Heath Road on two consecutive Sundays beginning on 19 June. The closure is because of maintenance on the water mains and the works are expected to be carried out between 9:00 and 16.30. Traffic will be diverted via Hanger Hill, Queens Road, Seven Hills Road and Byfleet Road during this time. Access will be maintained for pedestrians, emergency vehicles, residents and businesses at all times.

Fire

You may be aware that, under law, every fire authority in the country is required to produce a long-term, risk-based business strategy outlining its future aims and priorities. The long-term strategy is known as our Public Safety Plan.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service’s draft Public Safety Plan (PSP) for 2016-2025 focuses on increased collaboration with neighbouring fire and rescue services and other emergency services, firefighters attending a wider range of incidents and investment in training.

The plan also takes into account the changing social and financial contexts in which Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is expected to operate. The proposals are outlined in more detail in the attached summary document.

Please take part in our consultation by completing the online survey by 7 June 2016 or attending one of our public meetingsThe full draft PSP and further details about how to get involved are available at www.surrey-fire.gov.uk.

We value the opinions of our communities and our stakeholders, and believe they are vital in ensuring our emergency service reflects the needs of those we serve. Thank you for taking the time to give us your views – rest assured they do count, and will be reviewed before any changes are made.

Old Bridge

Wey BridgeThe road surface over Weybridge’s Old Bridge has been poor for too long.   Wey Meadows residents pointed out to me that this short stretch must be the worst in Weybridge.  I called Surrey’s chief highways engineer who reviewed the situation and told me that following inspection of the bridge the structure team had decided to bring the resurfacing work forward to June or July this year.

In the meantime there will be extra patching (now installed but not satisfactory).

Surrey structures team does not believe that the poor surface threatens the integrity of the bridge itself.

I would bring all the schedules of work into the public domain so that we could at least see the order in which these works were to be done and why.  Whilst none of us want delay (like waiting for a bus) we feel better if we know when the project will begin (like bus indicator boards).  The technology is not that expensive and I believe it would save Surrey money.

Cybercrime in Surrey

Cybercrime-01

The survey results revealed that nearly 1 in 6 residents had fallen victim and at least 84% of people have been targeted. Of those that had been a victim, 29% of people reported losing money, with some losing over £1,000, yet very few people report cybercrimes to Action Fraud or the Police, masking the scale of the problem. The most commonly given reason for not reporting was that they thought it would be a ‘waste of time’, and they ‘didn’t think anything could be done’. Most people just complain to those close to them, or report losses to their bank.

Many people consider themselves to have a ‘complete’ or ‘good’ understanding of the risks that they face online, but are nevertheless still failing to take basic steps to protect themselves. National schemes such as CyberStreetWise and Get Safe Online are underused, with only 8% of people making use of these services.  Look at the Cybercrime Survey Report

Dementia Carers Coffee Morning

Dementia Care-01Surrey Library Service is organising a Dementia Carers Coffee morning in Weybridge for people with dementia and their carers.

The Alzheimer’s Society will be attending and there will be dementia navigators to help with questions, plus information on library services we offer relating to dementia and other areas.

It will take place at 10 on Friday, 19 September 2016 in the Weybridge Centre, Churchfield Place, KT13 8DB   For any queries, please call: 0300 200 1001.

How Well Do You Know Weybridge?

This is the fifth location of ten.

Over the next two weeks I will issue a new location from time to time. See if you know more of them than anyone else. Just in case more than one person gets them all correct there will be a tie breaker.

If you have missed them – see the other locations here:
Location 1
Location 2
Location 3
Location 4

The next one will be here shortly.

Make a list of all your answers and then answer here.

Directing Elmbridge’s Future

Council ChamberEvery year a main committee of Elmbridge decides what aspects of Elmbridge’s policies and processes should be scrutinized more closely.   It can also decide to examine decisions that have been taken and the way that current policies work.  It does not examine individual problems or complaints but focuses instead on strategic issues and policies.  In fact this role is not confined to the work of Elmbridge Borough Council but extends to anything that affects what it is like to live and work in the borough.

What aspects of Elmbridge’s work would you like scrutinized?   Add your comments below or contact me via my contact page.