Parking around Wanstead High St: The pressure builds

parkingThe opponents of the increased restrictions on parking on streets around Wanstead High Street have started mobilising their campaign ahead of a review of the schemes which is due next month.

At a council meeting in Wanstead earlier this week, business owners and opponents of the restrictions lobbied Redbridge councillors. The campaigners who last year collected more than 5,000 signatures against proposed pay and display machines have begun campaigning again.

Residents’ only parking was introduced for a 12-month period last year on several roads in central Wanstead, including Spratt Hall Road, Dangan Road, Addison Road and others. The introduction came after residents showed that websites were advising commuters that they could easily park on the streets during the day for easy access to the Central Line. As a result it became impossible for many residents to park near their homes. Councillors say they had to respond to the residents’ concerns.

The restrictions had their desired effect – one resident of Spratt Hall Road said approvingly that there were so few cars parked there during the day that it was like the aftermath of a nuclear war. But casual shoppers, shopkeepers, local business and parents dropping children at nurseries and schools were not so impressed, saying it made central Wanstead like a no-go zone. As Wansteadium noted earlier this year, the residents’ only parking was extended to an area outside Christ Church where there were not actually any residents.

Wansteadium reader Diana Watson said there was “vociferous opposition” at the Area 1 committee meeting held on Monday this week.  She said the overwhelming suggestion of people in attendance was the reintroduction of a one  or two-hour parking ban each morning to exclude commuters but allow “the good people of Wanstead to go about their business and avail themselves of the activities and services in the community”.

Campaigner Michael Powis has now contacted supporters to encourage them to contact the council ahead of next month’s review. He says: “These were popular places for people to stop off for an hour or two and park to visit the shops, cafes, doctors and voluntary community activities etc. etc. Surrounding roads, where the one hour ban has worked for many, many years, have now experienced displaced parking, further restricting usage of spaces.” He says the restrictions create an atmosphere “which says KEEP OUT to the visitors that help support our High Street, which residents alone cannot sustain”.

Residents of the streets in question, who according to surveys support the measures, are not likely to be happy with the “one hour ban” proposal since without some greater refinement it would it impossible for them to leave their cars outside their own homes during the day. At an area two committee earlier this year one resident suggested that the residents parking system be retained, but be restricted in its hours of operation to 0930-1030 each weekday. This would, he said, keep commuters out, allow residents to park, but also allow community use during the day.

The campaign is likely to heat up further during the next few weeks, but the council and its officials find themselves in a tricky position where they will have to find a balance between the interests of residents and the wider community.

5 thoughts on “Parking around Wanstead High St: The pressure builds”

  1. Maybe a better solution would be for dual usuage. So there would be residents permit parking and 2 hour free parking with no return. This would ensure that residents would be able to park near their homes and commuters would be kept out but visitors/shoppers/patients etc. would be able to park for a short period of time.

  2. Re posting this from other forum, please act!!!

    At last night’s area 1 meeting many voices spoke up against the parking permits as they
    stand now putting over very reasonable points.
    The main conclusion is that a compromise scheme would work for all,
    which many of you on this site also seem to want. I urge you that if you feel strongly about this to
    email your local councillor as for the first time last night they seemed to
    take in the gravity of the present situation.
    They need to hear your voices, as the more people they hear from, especially
    from people like Loon who actually live in the road and still support a scheme
    that would work for everyone, the better and more likely they may be to
    actually making a change. Also put across ideas for what kind of scheme you think would work instead. Please do this asap as they will be meeting to make a decision on this in the next couple
    of weeks! Help make a change!

    Here are the councillor’s email addresses and also send your email to Nigel Birch who is across
    this issue too.,,,,,,

  3. My response to councilor Nigel Birch:

    ‘Dear Nigel

    I understand that the controlled parking zone in Wanstead is shortly to come up for review.
    I am a resident of Grove Park Wanstead , and naturally am very concerned that a final solution be found to accommodating the needs of all residents and businesses alike (to the exclusion of the Tube parkers).

    I am particularly concerned as the effect any parking schemes may have on the long term viability of the high street, and it is apparent that certain businesses have suffered greatly from the ‘CPZ’ area.
    I am sure that Redbridge Council must only be too aware that in hitting local business this can only result in more empty units which will then result in a reduction of council taxes available to collect.

    It has also been evident that since the imposition of CPZ in selected roads west of the High Street, this has had a knock on effect of day time drivers fighting for parking spaces in roads not covered by CPZ (such as Grove Park).

    Clearly it is a difficult task satisfying all the residents of Wanstead and therefore some creative solutions will need to be addressed to meet resident concerns. My own suggestion is for the installation of parking meters both in the high street and all adjacent roads (maximum 3 hours), —in this way people coming to the area to shop will find spaces, but the commuters will be prevented from parking. Furthermore the council will be able to raise revenue (although the charge should be modest in order not to put off shoppers). Regarding residents within the meter zones their need to park could be covered by a council issued permits.
    Secondary roads or road side parking away from the immediate vicinity of the High Street would have the 9.30-10.30 exclusion applied –possibly extended to a further pm restriction of say 2.00 -3 pm to prevent usage by commuters. Again permits could be issues to affected residents.

    Kind regards


  4. These statistics for the introduction of parking permits around Wanstead are unbelievable. The only ones with anything like a clear-ish majority were Dangan, Spratt Hall and Addison Roads with an overall majority (of the selective roads canvassed by the council) NOT in favour of permit parking. This is the Council riding rough shod over the whole community.
    If they are willing to do this sort of exercise because three people asked for it then there is something very wrong with the understanding of democracy within our council.

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