High Street parking; the council gambles

For umpteen years the borough council has been proposing to improve the pedestrian environment in Camberley’s High Street.  It fleshed out its ideas in a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) a couple of years ago, and very recently it expanded on its proposals still further (thanks Graham for alerting us).

The intention is to improve the street surface and street ‘furniture’, and to introduce ‘greenery’. In addition, the council proposes reducing the number of parking spaces by perhaps two thirds, and also implementing measures to slow traffic.  Obviously, the Eye agrees with improving the road’s appearance.  However, reducing – but not eliminating – parking is much more contentious.  We know that it won’t please some of our readers, but will it actually be workable?

We can see two possible outcomes.  One, the new arrangement works perfectly. Drivers learn that the chances of finding a parking space are much reduced, so they don’t even try;  they avoid the road, and pedestrians automatically have greater priority than at present.  But Surrey Heath residents are more wedded to their cars than elsewhere, so the alternative scenario is that drivers simply form a solid queue in the street and they drive round and round via Knoll Road (some do this already) until they can park.  This would mean pedestrians have to share the road with a traffic jam that is worse than ever.

We admit, we don’t know which of these two outcomes would result.  BUT NEITHER DOES THE COUNCIL.  (We have a five-year-old newspaper cutting quoting the council talking about a new parking scheme and saying “We may be wrong. I don’t think we’re going to be.”  However, they were!)  So, not for the first time, we suggest that the council carries out a pilot exercise before doing anything permanent.  In this case, the pilot should be quite easy to set up – simply block off a number of the existing parking spaces, but don’t change the road surface for the time being.  Without a pilot, implementing the council proposals would be premature and an avoidable gamble.

The council is seeking the views of the public on its proposals.  You can find the information here: https://goo.gl/rUrMHB

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13 thoughts on “High Street parking; the council gambles

  1. This will make me even less inclined to use Camberley Town – not that I use it much anyway. With the minimum parking charge in Camberley £1.60 even if you are only there 10 minutes, it is just not worth it – this is combined with very very poor access to car parks. Aldershot have a minimum parking charge of 20p, Fleet is the same. Farnborough have 40p for half an hour. Why is SHBC being so greedy???

  2. Reducing parking? Are the council crazy?
    Visiting Camberley is already an unpleasant experience on a Saturday due to parking issues, so who in their right mind would want to visit when you cant park?
    Surrey Heath Council, please dont kill my town.

  3. They live in a Camberley Bubble, no ideas no vision and just paying their consultant architects and friends wasted money on these plans which never materialise. I have sent this note to the email on the note..half the town needs to be flattened and start again.

    Greetings

    Unbelievable that there is no thought or provision for getting to and from Camberley by bike and where to park them.
    The table top parking surfaces are proven to increase emissions as engines react to the raised height..is this really a good thing??
    Not very inspiring and still pandering to the car drivers as usual

    Sincerely

    Sent from Windows Mail

    • To be fair to the council, there is now a cycle path along the A30 to the east of the town. To be equally ‘fair’ to the council, there isn’t a cycle path along the length of Knoll Road, which is supposed to be the centre for community facilities. To be even ‘fairer’, cyclists visiting the council offices are faced with the prospect of leaving their cycle leaning against the front wall of the building, unprotected from the elements.

  4. Enjoy a coffee in Poppins and watch as vacated parking spaces are immediately filled, the traffic seems to flow quite well most of the time, and the shops enjoy a constant stream of customers spending their money. Less parking is stupid, and if they pedestrianise the High Street altogether, another convenient 30 minute free parking area should be provided.

    • It’s actually rather potty, Denise, to expect one ‘solution’ to be optimal for both the times when the road is quite quiet (perhaps when you’re having your coffee!) and peak shopping times such as Saturday afternoon.

  5. Whilst I agree that Camberley needs more accessible parking and realistically priced short-term facilities, the current arrangements in the High Sreet are not the answer.
    The High Street is a really unpleasant, and even dangerous, place to shop at peak times. The pavements are simply not wide enough and I have lost count of the number of times I have had car doors opened out into me over the years. As far as I am concerned, vehicles and pedestrians don’t mix well. If you want pedestrians to visit the High Street you have to remove the cars, at least at peak times.
    Trees and improved street furniture may be nice but I doubt make any real difference to the appeal of a town for shoppers.
    I too feel the simplest solution is to prevent vehicle access at peak times, just as it will be for the forthcoming car show. The barrier is already in place so this would be a very cost-effective solution.

    • Thanks for your feedback. Do make sure you submit it formally – the email address is in the text of the Eye item. It seems that lots of people discuss ‘official’ proposals on-line, and sign e-petitions, but they rarely respond to consultations ‘formally’. So their views never lead to anything.

      • Thank you. I have already submitted my views formally using the link you kindly posted yesterday.

  6. I spent some time yesterday reviewing the “latest proposal” from the Town Hall.

    The new Yellow Brick Road [Camberley High Street] looks delightful and free of vehicles.

    Sadly the external consultants clearly have very little local insight.
    They need to read the Eye.

    Camberley High Street should have the same treatment and consideration as Park Street.

    It needs to be Closed to trucks and the Parking Crocodile. Disabled access only.

    Impact of the Town Centre Pubic realm proposal …

    1. Visit and view Camberley Town – Service Yard Heaven.
    2. The street display panels, there is no mention of Services Yard access
    3. High Street Crocodile [convoy cars and vans] continue looking for parking
    4. Huge articulated lorries will still thunder up the narrow High Street
    5. Night time. Same Lorries drive the wrong way down the High Street
    6. Proposal makes no mention Town Centre Resident need/obligation
    7. There is no open or green space.

    Suggestion
    8. Service yards 1, 2 & 4 could be served directly A30 – Northern access
    9. Obelisk Way could front Camberley Open Green space. Ex Allders
    10. Service Yard 6 access could be through old Post Office. From Broadway

    Trucks no longer need access via High Street. For people residents.

    SHBC/Michael Gove . Please broaden your vision for Camberley !

    Government [MoD] needs to be encouraged to release 50m strip of land that borders A30.
    The aim to widen A30, improve access to RMCC and provide wide open green perspective

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