Rain didn’t stop play

We think the title of this post is correct: in fact, play in the London Road Recreation Ground hasn’t restarted since the playground’s make-over. At least, that’s what Paul implies in his e-mail to us. We quote: “when does a play park that looks finished, stop being finished and start being open? I could not see any visible signs of on going work nor any signs explaining its non use. Lots of disappointed kids not being able to use the facility. Let’s face it it’s the only draw to the park this time of year apart from Sunday football. Let us hope it’s open in time for the Xmas hols”

Pulling the wool over councillors’ eyes?

We’ve already mentioned that the borough’s Executive Committee will be considering the case presented by council officers to increase the cost of parking in council car parks. The meeting is today.

As you’d expect, to support this proposal the committee has been provided with a comparison of the cost of parking in the council’s car parks with parking elsewhere. We’re reproducing the relevant part of the documentation here:

Clearly, the rates in Camberley are quite competitive. So much so that you wonder why the councillors are being misled. The actual costs of daytime parking in Main Square car park – the most widely used of the council’s car parks – are shown below:

Photograph taken yesterday

The Executive Committee cannot, responsibly, make decisions based on deceptive data. It has to ask what other figures given in the documentation wouldn’t stand scrutiny. What an unfortunate situation.

SHBC – patchy concern for the environment

You probably know that the council Executive this week will be debating whether to increase the cost of using the council’s car parks. But that’s not we’re writing about today. Rather, what has caught our attention is a paragraph in the briefing paper for the Executive meeting. It says “Car parks can play an active part in promoting positive behaviour change linked to tackling climate change, including avoiding queuing and avoidable congestion, avoiding extending journey time to find available parking spaces, avoiding idling vehicles,”

All of which is true. But why hasn’t the council done more to reduce queueing and idling vehicles in its own Main Square car park – improving visitor experience at the same time?

For years we’ve pointed out the stupidity of the illuminated signs at the entrance to the car park. When they say SPACE, does that mean just one space or a hundred? Of course, arriving drivers don’t know, so, in busy times, when they see that a space is going to be vacated, they stop and wait until it’s free. They then shuffle about to park in it. In the meantime, all the cars behind them have to wait, with their engines idling, of course. The top floors can be virtually empty while this is going on, but incoming drivers can’t see the top floors.

Not just pointless, but faulty as well.

We imagine that the automated car park system counts the number of cars as they enter and leave. Otherwise it wouldn’t know whether to display SPACE or FULL. So why doesn’t it – like many parking systems elsewhere – show the number of empty spaces? This would reduce the unnecessary ‘panicking’ by drivers.

We understand that the council hires people at this time of year to encourage drivers to keep moving up the car park. That’s an expense, Whether it achieves very much effect is questionnable. Better use of technology would be a cheaper alternative.

No Parking – who says?

We reckon that the ‘No Parking’ notice on the side of this green box is more than a bit cheeky – and also a bit stupid. WHO has the right to tell people not to park somewhere – not the owners of that green box, for sure. And the silly bit is that it either refers to a perfectly legimate loading bay behind the box, or to parking on the pavement in front of the box. Need we say more?

The irony isn’t lost on us

The borough council – like most of those ‘in power’ – is encouraging us to save energy. Cycle, not drive. So, it’s a little ironic that the council-owned Square has closed its bike park in Princess Way. We can see the logic, and it’s good to know that another retailer (presumably it’s a retailer) is coming, but somehow it seems to be a move in the wrong direction.

To be fair, we’re not aware that the bike park was used very much.

How to bemuse a visitor…

All you have to do is plant rusty little metal disks in the town’s flower beds and not provide any explanation. Visitors will go away puzzled, and envious of Camberley’s spendthrift ways.

The Square shows how easy it is to do better:

But will there EVER be a satisfying explanation of the little metal disks? We suspect not.