Saturday, 21 July 2018

Residents want permits to keep parking spaces free

SEVERAL more streets in Henley could have residents-only parking introduced to stop commuters and town centre workers taking up the

SEVERAL more streets in Henley could have residents-only parking introduced to stop commuters and town centre workers taking up the spaces.

Harpsden Road, Vicarage Road, Upton Close and Northfield End could all have restricted areas for parking following complaints by  residents.

Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport, said householders had complained about being unable to park near their homes because of non-residents using the spaces.

If permit zones were introduced in Harpsden Road, they might also be needed in side streets such as Boston Road and Marmion Road to stop the problem simply being moved.

Cllr Nimmo Smith said: “It’s a real pain to park in Harpsden Road and there’s never room to pull over when there’s an oncoming car.

“However, if you put restrictions on Harpsden Road you have to consider that it might spill over. You can’t just displace it and make things worse somewhere else. We won’t carry out a formal consultation but we’ll do a letter drop asking people what they think.

“We’ve had requests from people in Northfield End and Upton Close before but when we carried out a wider survey most people didn’t want it. However, that was well over 10 years ago and parking is a bigger problem now so people’s minds may have changed.

“I’ve lived here for years and seen the problem get worse as it spreads further from the town centre up St Andrew’s Road and Greys Road. The further you move it out of town, the more people will hopefully look for other ways of getting to work.”

Residents’ permit schemes are currently in place in Albert Road, New Street, Friday Street, Thames Side, Queen Street, King’s Road, Clarence Road, York Road, Mount View, Badgemore Lane and a stretch of Reading Road near the town centre. There are about 125 spaces but at least 175 permits have been issued. Each household can have up to two annual passes at £65 each while temporary permits for visitors cost 30p a day.

Harpsden Road residents that the Henley Standard spoke to were divided on the issue.

Ken Allum, 72, said: “It’s a nightmare parking sometimes. The Three Horseshoes has a lot to do with it, especially when there is football on TV.

“It would depend on the cost but I’m for this idea in principle.”

Suzanne Whiteman said: “An awful lot of people park here then go to the station. It’s tough to find space on Friday nights when the pub is busy so my husband and I would support it.”

Walter Pinkarchevski, 60, said: “It’s a pain finding a space sometimes but it’s not really that bad. It’s a minor nuisance.”

Sarah Williams said: “I’ve never had problems parking, even when I’ve had several visitors. It would be a bit of a pain arranging visitor permits to have someone over.” Nigel Rainbow, landlord of the Three Horseshoes, which is on the corner of Harpsden Road and Reading Road, said: “We don’t want to annoy our neighbours but we’re a pub with no car park and our customers have to go somewhere.

“One of the big problems around here is the number of town centre workers. I sympathise with residents but I’d be against permits.”

The letter drop will be conducted in the next six months.

Meanwhile, town councillor Dylan Thomas, who lives in Northfield End, said he had suggested having restrictions there following comments from  neighbours.

He said: “We’re fortunate to be near the town centre and on level ground but that makes it attractive for others who don’t want to pay parking charges.

“That’s perfectly understandable but it means residents sometimes find they can’t park near their own houses. The problem is getting worse with more and more cars on the roads.

“One woman said she’d opposed permit parking years ago but now wants it because things have changed.”

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