Village parking meeting

Notes of Great Shelford Parish Meeting – Village Parking 24th January 2017

Present: Parish Councillors Mike Nettleton (Chair), Bridget Hodge (Vice Chair), Angela Milson, Malcolm Watson, Simon Talbott, Peter Fane, Richard Davies, Barrie Ashurst, David Coggins, Stefan Harris-Wright, and Charlie Nightingale (District Councillor), and approximately 60 members of the public.

The Chair of the Great Shelford Parish Council welcomed the participants, and introduced the members of the Parish Council. He then introduced Cllr Barrie Ashurst, new Chair of the Highways Committee, who would be leading the discussion.

Issues: Cllr Ashurst outlined the main issues, and the difficulties of balancing the interests of staff, customers and residents, as well as users of the train services. The costs of maintaining the present car parks in the village was approaching £20,000 which was approximately 10% of the precept. Parking enforcement is a civil matter in car parks, but a police matter on the roads, but the police had made it clear enforcement was not a priority. New legislation could allow parking to be delegated but only after decriminalisation, which would probably take 2- 3 years to enact.

Background Information: A snap survey logging car parking in the village had been undertaken. There were no train commuters in the car parks, but about 30 spaces in the McColls car park were taken by workers in the village. The Memorial Hall car park had spaces during the survey periods. Several parents were using the car parks to then walk their children to school. Getting the survey information was costly in time and effort.

Ways Forward: Some changes to parking spaces were outlined which were already being progressed. Possible solutions for the car parks included doing nothing, pay for parking with meters (with permits for business staff), installing ANPR cameras, or employing a traffic warden. These measures would be to preserve parking, rather than fund raising. Parking meters, cameras and traffic wardens would be expensive and could increase on-street parking.

Open Discussion: Members of the public were then asked for their opinions on the subject of car parking in the village.

Gemma Hill, Woollard’s Lane, asked about long term parking, (which was seen as over 4 hours) and how the needs of residents’ car parking could be addressed.

David Carwinter, Foxton, felt proposals might penalise people for coming to work, as they had to park somewhere.

Mrs Thompson, Woollards Lane, again emphasized that residents’ parking was an important issue, and felt that residents and workers should not be penalised, which was a popular opinion.

Antony Cooper felt that severe parking restrictions which the City Deal were considering for Cambridge City might displace cars to Great Shelford as early as next year. He also wondered whether long term parking was actually an issue in the village. Cllr Ashurst stated that there had been no long-term parking in the car parks on the survey days, but there was parking in Shelford Park Avenue, Leeway Avenue and Hinton Way which is thought to be people driving to the village and then cycling or using the trains.

Roxanna, representing the Co-op, felt that loss of spaces might make the High Street worse, with Co-op customers therefore using the Tesco store instead.

Jill, Mingle Lane, felt that people parking in Mingle Lane/ Hinton Way were creating difficulties by obstructing the junction, with no yellow lines at present. It was pointed out that junctions should not need yellow lines as parking was prohibited anyway. Yellow lines on the other side of the railway meant cars were being parked on the pavements and outside Zara restaurant. It was pointed out parking on pavements was not illegal unless it caused obstruction, in which case the police would respond if it was reported on 101.

Diane Melbourne, Macauley Avenue, felt that parking was already a problem in Orchard Road, and feared the new Post Office would make this worse.

Leslie Goddard, Ashen Green, commented on the single yellow lines in Ashen Green and the potholes in the road. Cllr Nettleton reported that double yellow lines were to be painted on the free Church side.

Marion Chapman, Spinney Drive, reported that parking on both sides of Spinney Drive meant that bin men cannot get through. Lack of a sign indicating the road is a cul-de-sac meant several cars a day were having to turn around in driveways – installing a sign would be considered.

Julie Barraclough commented that the situation would only get worse with more and more houses being built, and wondered whether more car parking could be provided on the recreation ground for workers in the village. It was pointed out that the village already did not have sufficient open space, and also that the recreation ground is green belt land.

Doris Smith, Leeway Avenue, said that free driveway schemes were operating in some areas which were community based, it was felt this could possibly be organised through social media. She also wondered whether the field outside Rayments was available for further parking, Cllr Nettleton reported that Rayments had been approached but the costs involved may not be acceptable.

Cllr Peter Fane suggested resident parking schemes might be introduced, it was pointed out that in other areas commuter parking had been eliminated by these schemes but workmen etc also cannot park in those areas.

Tony Green, Co-op, asked about the double yellow lines outside the Co-op, and it was clarified that the lines would only be near the junction with Ashen Green.

Sam Smith, Macauley Avenue, wondered about the traffic warden who had walked around, but it was pointed out that enforcement must be through the police, the revenue goes to the government and not the police so they will not continue the scheme.

Cllr Richard Davies commented on the 30 car park spaces being used by business employees, and wondered whether a voluntary code could be created to pay into funds for employee parking.

Sheila Prentiss, Shelford Park Avenue, said that Shelford Park Avenue had a lot of parking of commuters, shoppers, and Station Court office workers which made it a nightmare for residents’ parking. Lilia Centeno added that the parking continued into Poplar Close, with cars on the green spaces which was damaging the grass.

Barry Johnson, Birch Tree Road, again commented on the effect the new Post Office would have on Hinton Way, and on the possible effects of the development on the Biomedical Campus when the workers started. Cllr Nettleton pointed out the village will benefit from the Post Office remaining in the village, with longer opening hours being offered. Initial ideas for dealing with any problems were 30-minute waiting zones and double yellow lines being installed.

With no further comments being offered, Cllr Nettleton thanked the participants for their attendance, and closed the meeting at 8.30 pm.