Parking row heats up

Overton Drive on Tuesday

Opposition to the way Redbridge Council is planning to introduce dramatic parking changes in Wanstead without consultation has strengthened over the Christmas break, and campaigners are intending to make their views known at a series of council meetings.

But despite an acknowledgement from council leader Cllr Jas Athwal of the plan’s controversy the plan, poles for new parking restriction signs were installed along Overton Drive on Tuesday afternoon, infuriating residents.

Opinions vary about the £93k scheme which would introduce pay and display parking on Wanstead High Street and massively increase the area of residents-only parking in central Wanstead. But the greatest ire seems to be reserved for the council’s refusal to consult with residents – with some campaigners saying this is against the law. Previous parking proposals were widely discussed before being implemented, but Redbridge is planning to use a loophole for “experiments” to avoid consultation obligations.

One Overton Drive resident wrote to Sajid Javid, secretary of state for communities and local government,* appealing for his help in forcing Redbridge to consult residents before introducing the scheme. Meanwhile a petition which is demanding a consultation now has 1,500 signatories – some on paper, some online. Anyone wishing to sign the petition can do so via the link below. If they can get more signatures before Friday, campaigners are hoping to able to force a vote at the next full council meeting.


* Correction: this story earlier said the resident had written to Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, rather than to Sajid Javid .

34 thoughts on “Parking row heats up”

  1. I could be wrong but i think that some electrical installation for meters was started in the high street before Christmas – Kenson were digging on the shops side at either end of the high street.

        1. As happy as you are with the danger, pollution and death that the cars have brought?

          Of course not. I want a nice safe pleasant high street like most others around us with parking restrictions. Most don’t drive there. Those that do are the minority and are no longer getting priority. I’m all for this. Plenty of successful high streets aroubd with parking restrictions Looking forward to ours joining them.

  2. Such a counter productive measure. Does the council think people will be more or less inclined to visit Wanstead if they have to pay for privilege to visit the shops?! We’ll end up losing fine businesses like the Bungalow Cafe & Belgique & numerous cafes as the cost of a visit has dramatically increased.

    1. If only there were tube stations, bus stops, cycle racks or pavements for such people to visit Wanstead. Most other high streets have parking restrictions in the area and are doing just fine. Those that insist on driving here, despite the alternatives, now have to pay a little for that privilege which seems fair enough to me given the pollution and danger they bring.

        1. Just under a mile. What difference does that make? I visit other high streetss and rarely use my car as I’d cycle or use public transport. When I do drive, which I do on occassion, I understand that I need to pay for the privilege. I also understand that those who live nearer than me to the high street find difficulty parking due to those who leave their cars there all day. And I also understand that those that live a few miles away don’t suffer the inconvenience of all of this and are just upset because they cannot park for free anymore. I also understand that the worst part of going to the high street is the badly parked and driven cars. People have died there because of it.

          1. I asked because I was trying to better understand your point. Pay and display will not prevent people parking all day – it just puts a price on it, which the market will bear. Its worth trying to distinguish between the local residents concerns of Commuter parking and the High Street needs to attract custom to survive (which is to the benefit of the whole community), allowing shoppers access. I honestly don’t think anyone begrudges paying to park, as long as the process to pay is simple and clear.

            What we should have is a fair and balanced consultation, so that good decisions can be made.

          2. Yes and no. There is to be a 2hr limit to stop people parking all day which blights us where we are of people dumping their cars in residential streets and jumping on the tube and spending all their money elsewhere. This does nothing for the high street.

            High streets do need to attract custom, but the assumption is that only those in cars matter. More people arrive on foot and public transport by a magnitude. Making parking less convenient will hope fully shift the focus onto alternative means of transport meaning it will be nicer for the majority. I’ve posted time and time again the worst part of going to the high street is the badly parked and driven cars. Fewer people arriving by car will make it a nicer destination, and maybe even attract more people, who arrive by other means….WHO ARE THE MAJORITY.

            There are cars blocking bus stops, parking in the disabled bay, stopping on double yellows. It is constant. It is unpleasant and it is dangerous. No wardens are ever around to enforce it. I am looking forward to having some around to stop the free-for-all making a more pleasant high street for those that leave the car behind. Those that choose to still com ein the car, that’s fine, but you’ll need to pay a little and make sure you do it properly.

          3. I’d love to cycle to Wanstead High Street without fear of being hit by cars speeding up and down St. Mary’s Avenue. Ironically, these plans make it more likely cars will speed as they won’t even have to think about the parked cars.

            If only Redbridge council considered a bicycle lane which ran between the trees.

            And maybe a bicycle lane on the wide part of the High Street pavement from The George to Barclays instead of the get off your bike signs.

            It shouldn’t be too difficult to have a good bicycle lane from Warren Road to Snaresbrook, but that wouldn’t make any money.

            I’d sign up for that and no parking at all on the High Street.

            But truth is this is just take take take.

      1. There are two issues to the proposed parking changes but they have been lopped together in a bundle, neither of which is suitable.

        One is the High Street where Redbridge Council seem to want to get rid of the comuters, this could be easily achieved by a one hour no parking restriction like they have around Redbridge Underground Station.

        The other issue is the surrounding roads where they want to extend CPZ’s to include Saturday’s as well as enlarging the zones, therefore, turning most of Wanstead into residents only parking or visitors permits.

        This is just a cash cow exercise which is actually going to cost £92k to implement. Not to mention that all of this is being implemented without a consultation. #WEWANTSAY

  3. Lets get back to some basics on this. Whether or not this is a good or a bad idea, is almost secondary to the fact that the the Council Leader – Jas Athwal – does not think it even remotely stupid or embarrassing to state that this is just a ‘test’ and if it does not work then the system will be withdrawan, in the same breath as acknowledging that it will cost around £90k to install the ‘test’ in the first place!!!! This is £90k of Redbridge Tax Payers money that is being spent here, and that at LEAST deserves better consideration than a ridiculous and ill-thought-out action and statement like this. If it WAS a test and it failed (which in reality it won’t be allowed to do if it brings in revenue for Redbridge in the short term of course) then who is responsible for the wasted £90k spent on it then?

  4. It is disgusting behavior by one lady who is ‘Campaigning’ on the High Street and on outside the Tube Station.

    I told her I did not have time to sign on 31st January as I had my 3 year old child who needed feeding and hands full of shopping bags.
    She shouted at me about how the state of the High Street will be my fault and then continued to grumble about me. I know this because my wife was close behind and caught every single word!

    People have a decision, people should not be forced to sign by people on the street! If they don’t want to sign then accept their decision.

    It was the second horrible thing by a resident I saw on the High Street that day. The other I will save for another day..

  5. This is how I read the situation.. Especially with the woman campaigning on the High Street..

    The whole focus appears to be on the ‘High Street’ Parking and the affect on business.. Please see the document which clearly states that side streets will have 30 minute limits. This is more than acceptable as a solution to those who MUST drive.

    However with the campaigners using the High Street as an excuse they are taking away the focus that the residents parking scheme it to be expanded… Why would they do this you ask.. I will tell you why.. It is because they live in the streets that will be charged £45 a year for the privilege and 35p a time a friend or relative visits. But NO, they don’t want you to think that this is the reason.

    Well I see through your campaigning and guess what. I live on a street where I have to pay for parking. I live on a street where I have to give permits to friends/family/workmen already and I accept that.

    Please stop trying to make out that this campaign is not only about the High Street.. You have probably spent more on printouts for petitions to save your £45 + permits already.

    I have only ever lived in places that require you to pay for parking and they have all flourished.
    Wanstead High Street however… Right now it has nearly as many closed units as open and that is nothing to do with the parking.

    1. “your £45 + permits”

      The + is £82/annum for the second car and £108/annum for subsequent cars.

      IMHO the Newham charges are fairer. Free for first car, £100 for second car, £200 for subsequent cars. That would have more impact in keeping the number of cars low in a household and giving people an opportunity to park in their street.

      I can put two cars on the drive so it won’t cost me anyway but I think it is pointless as no one parks around here except on Saturdays and Sundays. Will probably lead to more speeding with no parked cars to consider.

      The commuter parking stated as an issue isn’t exactly discouraged by Redbridge at present. You can park for the whole day in the car park opposite the Co-op for £5. How many shoppers could use those spaces?

      I am against the changes because they don’t work for all parts of Wanstead, especially those close to Wanstead Park. Ironically the Counties/Nightingale Estate will have no restrictions and there are far more problems finding parking around there.

      1. Who want’s to pay £5 a day to ponder around nail bars, count the empty units and wonder why there is a huge empty area fenced off and overgrown with weeds?

        All of this is pre-parking scheme… Will it get worse? Maybe not. Maybe the people who can afford to pay are the right type of people we want.
        It’s ok now that Ernie in his 30 year old Ford Escort visits just to pop into the Ginger Pig for a sausage roll, but he might be taking that space up that Cynthia in her new BMW 5 series could use so she can buy a lovely dress from Judith’s, get her hair and nails done several times, get the weekends meat from the Ginger Pig, the fish from the fish mongers and the fruit and veg from Harvey’s before popping to Majestic and filling up with fizz before finally getting a coffee from an independent shop to drive home with.

        Please look up Yarm High Street in the North East of England. Very beautiful place that has cobbled streets and until recently had free parking for shoppers. Now they charge everybody and you still cannot get parked! Wanstead should look at Yarm Highstreet and try to emulate it. In my honest opinion Wanstead is not even close to it. Oh and they have a Sainsburys…,-1.3541975,3a,75y,334.17h,92.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_CeuVESbGiUM-q6KY2xXGQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  6. Everyone seems to be missing the point of this campaign. This type of scheme was proposed a while ago. Residents said they didn’t want it so it didn’t go ahead. This time the council are trying to railroad it through without consultation by saying its a trail. I thought the elected councillors were supposed to represent the residents not try to get around by devious means something the residents don’t want. And happy to spend £93k on it when other things in the borough desperately need this money. Putting pay and display on roads such as Overton Drive where no one ever parks and never have done is not going to make them money!

    1. Very few park on Overton Drive, except maybe on Sundays for the Golf Club when the restrictions won’t be in place.

      I would be surprised if it raises much income around there as more or less everyone has a drive and can easily avoid the £45 annual charge.

      Unless people plan to play speed golf and get a round in in less than two hours on Saturdays, there will be no one parked on Saturday.

      Main income will be those attending funerals and weddings. The dog owners will just park on the Aldersbrook side of Wanstead Park.

      Maybe when the folly of the pay and display parking is removed they could put in some decent bicycle lanes all the way from Wanstead Park to Snaresbrook underground. Well maybe not, as it won’t raise any income and would cost money.

  7. The High Street looks increasingly fragile and I am concerned that any further change affecting it, parking arrangements included, needs to be very carefully considered.

    Given Wanstead folk have reached into their pockets in the recent past to fund the playground, because there was ‘no money,’ I am staggered that the leader of the council thinks it is in any way acceptable to gamble £90k on a parking scheme and then write off the investment. Woeful.

  8. One further negative aspect of the proposed scheme appears to have escaped comment. In addition to the Pay & Display scheme and the extension of the Residents’ Parking Zone, the scheme also significantly extends the areas where no on-street parking is permitted at all.

    On Redbridge Lane West, aside from a small residents’ parking area either side of the Wanstead High School entrance, there will be no parking permitted on the South side of RLW any time during the day Mon-Sat and, for some parts of the road, no parking at any time, even on Sunday’s or evenings. For those of us that live here this means that, even if we pay our £45 a year and buy visitor permits, there will never be parking available outside of our premises. Not sure what we are supposed to do when we have visiting tradesmen etc.

    Currently, parking is permitted in these areas except for 9.30-10.30am on weekdays. We do not have a problem with commuter parking at present so it is unclear why these additional restrictions are being introduced. I can only assume the purpose is to ensure that, once the Residents’ Parking zone is introduced, residents can’t use these spaces themselves so will need to pay for additional parking and visitor permits.

    Aside from the inconvenience caused to residents by the additional No Parking restrictions, a side effect is likely to be an increase in the speed of traffic using RLW as a cut-through from the A12 to Overton Drive – which is something we should be trying to discourage rather than encourage.

    If the council were really concerned about improving things for residents then a simple solution would have been to keep the existing parking restrictions as they area but allow residents to park during the 9.30-10.30am window (perhaps in return for an annual fee lower than the proposed £45). This would avoid the problem of all-day commuter parking and also eliminate the need for residents to move their own cars every morning.

    Whatever the merits/demerits of introducing the Pay&Display scheme for the High Street I think it is important that this is considered as a separate issue from the extension of the Residents’ Parking Zone and associated reduction in overall on-street parking capacity.

    1. Redbridge have lumped the Pay&Display scheme in with the Residents’ Parking Zone so unfortunately they are the same issue and can’t be considered separately. If only there was some consultation.

  9. Enquiries have revealed a whole range of contradictions, inconsistencies, half truths and silence when Cllrs have been questioned at Council Meetings. The Parking Strategy document was restricted (until now), Officers told by Cllrs to withhold Traffic survey data from us residents, and much more. This whole saga is undemocratic and Athwal/Howard et al are driving this pig headedly without listening to the community who put them where they are in the first instance to represent our needs, they are a disgrace. Pls follow #WEWANTSAY thread on Twitter for updates on this issue that are being posted regularly on behalf of Action Grp. I have stated before and do again, we (Action Grp) are NOT against any measures, I have NO problem with residents/and businesses supporting the scheme because they are experiencing real issues, I am against this scam, sorry scheme, because we have mot been consulted and/or agreed on the measures and it’s just a ruse, all because Athwal and his mob want to dip their hands in our pockets under the guise of a ‘much needed’ parking experiment to save ourselves from ourselves, how patronising. It won’t stop here if they get their way. #WEWANTSAY

    Trevor – Sorry to hear your experience outside the station, I am a member of the Action Grp that has formed and can confirm that had nothing to do with the Action Group, as NO member of the Action Group has EVER campaigned outside the Tube Stn at any time. Please don’t link the Grp to yoru experience or the fact the Action Grp is just interested in the High St, that is inaccurate, we have Action Grp members from every corner of the Wanstead area. Hope that helps.

    1. “Athwal/Howard et al are driving this pig headedly without listening to the community who put them where they are in the first instance to represent our needs”

      No one in Wanstead nor Snaresbrook elected either of them.

      Cllr Howard lives in the Snaresbrook area but choses to stand in Aldborough. Not very impressed with his back door scheming to get elected in one area and to impose his will on another.

  10. If the cabinet minister responsible doesn’t know what is happening, what hope is there? Why should he be surprised? It’s his scheme!

    In emails seen by the Guardian cabinet member for environment and sustainability Cllr John Howard said he was still “still taking feedback and reading through residents’ concerns and suggestions.

    He said: “I was surprised to see signs going up. But after making enquiries with the contractor, the current scheme needs around 800 installed so they have started to do it now. This is based on the current proposals and a February start date.”

  11. The Council is erecting over 800, 3 metre high steel posts throughout Wanstead which will have signs on them relating to the new parking restrictions. This come little more than a year after The Council and The Wanstead Society worked together to remove 100s of such posts from the streets of the area to make pavements more accessible and remove unsightly urban clutter. The guidance provided by the Department of Transport to Councils is that they should use lamp posts for street signs as this reduces cost and does not obstruct the footway. I cannot understand why the Council is putting a forest of steel poles into our area, when other Councils are removing them to save on maintenance costs

    The cost of this measure, at a time when the Council is cutting back services to the elderly and vulnerable, has to be questioned. How can Councillor Howard justify the rationale of removing dog waste bins when the Council are filling the area with unsightly and ugly lumps of steel, which people can walk into or fall over.

  12. Everyone objecting is not considering the bigger picture… There are few London zone 3/4 areas (Richmond, Finchley or Wembley) with no parking restrictions. Why has Wanstead not had it before now?
    Wanstead is currently used as a ‘park and ride’ by many and it needs to stop. We watch countless people head off to the football and shopping in Stratford. They blight the lives of Wanstead locals .. they’re not popping to the high street as we are. Restrictions have been successfully implemented in roads such as Mansfield and Spratt Hall however, this has meant parking has displaced to neighbouring streets.. it’s why the blanket enforcement is needed. There are no good reasons why only certain roads should benefit from restrictions while others are blighted. My school run to South Woodford is a daily mission to avoid parking wardens – Why is Wanstead different?! Epping, Waltham Forest, the majority of Redbridge have parking restrictions – failure to implement this scheme will literally turn Wanstead into a giant car park. It’s a (very expensive) privilege to live in Wanstead .. I personally see the permits as a residents’ perk..

    1. Wembley, Richmond and Finchley are all bigger than Wanstead and have plenty of car parks at supermarkets and industrial estates. Wanstead has three small car parks.

      As for the park and ride for Stratford, doubtless some do it, but given there are plenty of car parks in Stratford it is a small minority. We drive to Stratford rather than taking the tube because it works out as cheap. £6 or £8 for 24 hours whereas the tube ride for two people is at least £6. And I really wouldn’t fancy squeezing onto the tube with a pile of shopping and then carrying it all to the car for the sake of £3.

      Blanket enforcement is not needed as there is only so far people will walk before it becomes inconvenient. No one will use the pay and display on Overton Drive/Warren Road except for those attending weddings and funerals, so why have it? It would make sense to have the one hour restriction to stop commuters, but why stop golfers, cricketers, tennis players, bowlers and dog walkers by having the restrictions from Monday – Saturday 9am-6pm?

      Wanstead is different, and the different parts of Wanstead are different. What is required for Chestnut Drive is not required in Warren Road.

      1. better correct those prices for Westfield Stratford before someone else does, the prices I had were for Stratford International

        Westfield Stratford – £6.50 a day Monday – Friday and £9.50 Saturday & Sunday.

        There will be no restirctions in Wanstead on Sunday when it is more likely there will be park and riders.

  13. Does anybody know why signs have appeared at the junction of Eastern Ave/Redbridge Lane West saying that people entering Redbridge Lane are now driving in a parking zone ?

  14. Who voted this council in? Shame on you… I certainly never and as I already pay for parking then I am not going to object. Lesson learnt.

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