ME: Market East; SB: Shernhall/Bakers Arms
What do you think?
The Village has lived with the ‘new’ SB Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) for just over two years, causing a split of opinion as to its merits. Implemented originally in September 2011 alongside the existing ME zone, both zones had the same days and hours, ie Mon-Sat 8-6.30pm. After an open meeting with councillors, residents and local businesses held in March 2012, the days and hours were reduced to Mon-Fri 10-4pm later that year and, in May 2013, an SB extension was introduced to the east of the existing area down as far as Shernhall Street which again divided views.
For some residents living on the edge, just out of the zone, and who suffered from constant commuter parking, for the annual cost of a parking permit, the SB extension has brought life back to how it was pre Sept 2011. For others at the further eastern edge who never had a problem with commuters during the day still have a problem with parking in the evening when residents return home and parking spaces are too few. For them it feels as if they are paying for no benefit at all. Other residents now find they have single or double yellow lines in front of their properties and have to pay for an annual permit even though they cannot park outside their own homes.
There was an initial plan by the council to include some roads who voted yes in the extended area and leave out others who voted against – a terrible idea for those already squeezed out by over-parking although not so for those who, as yet, had not felt the impact of being on ‘the edge’. As it is, the commuters have merely moved further down and now line Shernhall Street, Butterfields and those roads just over the CPZ boundary.
In addition, the Wood Street zones have recently been extended thus pushing even more cars into the few remaining CPZ-free roads. The SB zone has settled down albeit uneasily for some.
So, what now?
Proposed rationalisation of ME and SB zones
It is evident that the ME and SB zone do not sit happily side by side. We are now a village divided by the two different time zones splitting the area in half. Would it be reasonable to assume that there is a majority who agree that the shorter days and hours in both zones would be sensible and beneficial to the area?
If this were the case, shorter hours and improved Saturday parking would benefit the local shops and businesses in Orford and Beulah Roads together with encouraging visitors to the Vestry House Museum. Friends and relatives visiting at the weekend could do so for free without the need for parking vouchers.
But, there are still issues..
The Walthamstow Village Residents Association (WVRA) committee at its November meeting proposed to keep both ME & SB zones and suggested hours and days be in line with each other i.e ME be the same as SB. It’s not perfect, those living in the SB zone wouldn’t be able to park outside their local shops on Orford Road which is in ME. It would also still mean that those living in eg Grosvenor Rise East and Eden Road have two different zones in the same road.
Clearly, there isn’t a simple solution, given that CPZs are now part of our lives in our crowded towns and cities. But there is a need for some common sense rationalisation between the two Village zones and the Residents’ Association will be taking this up with our Hoe Street councillors and the council.
If you have a view on any of the above, please do post your comments on the WVRA website: www.walthamstowvillage.net