DEBDEN: Fury at fresh delays to parking review

FURY has been expressed by residents that new delays mean that their commuter parking nightmare will drag on for yet another year.

In 2003, following concerted pressure from residents and district councillors, Essex County Council agreed to conduct parking reviews in Epping, Buckhurst Hill and Debden to resolve the growing commuter parking crisis.

Residents close to London Underground stations in the areas claimed all the parking spaces in their streets were taken by commuters seeking to avoid the charges in council owned car parks.

But in Debden there was anger when they discovered that the affluent Buckhurst Hill and Epping areas would have their parking reviews conducted before them.

They claimed that the greater number residential streets near the station, and a higher volume of commuters made their situation more urgent.

Some said that their roads became so crammed with cars that emergency service vehicles found it impossible to negotiate through them to treat the area’s many elderly residents.

Debden residents were originally promised that action would be taken this year, but a new set of delays mean that the review is unlikely to be started before the end of next year.

Staff shortages and hold-ups on other projects in the county mean that the implementation of the Epping Parking Review will not take place until early 2012, pushing the Debden review back even further.

Epping Forest District Councillor Jon Whitehouse said that a council meeting in July Safer and Greener Portfolio Holder, Penny Smith, informed them of further possible delays to the implementation of the Epping parking review.

Councillors recently received the new timetable. Councillor Whitehouse said: “Councillors have been told that county council contractors will not begin the work advertised until the new year.

“The first phase of the restrictions were implemented in 2007 and the proposals just advertised are the result of what was originally meant to be a "post-implementation review" to be held six months after phase one was completed.

“In fact it took Britain less time to fight and win the Second World War than it's taken Essex County Council to conduct the Epping Parking Review. The Olympic Park has also been planned and built in far less time.”

Barry Johnston, 63, lives in Torrington Gardens just round the corner from Debden tube station.

He said: “What is happening now is that because we have rails preventing commuters parking on the grass we have people parking right on the corner of the road and preventing emergency vehicles getting past.

“There are a lot of elderly people down here and it is important that these vehicles can get easy access to them.

“Epping and Buckhurst Hill both have two bites of the apple, with first reviews rejected after consultation then new ones conducted. We have had nothing yet. People down here are so angry with the situation and are fed up with being treated like second class citizens.”

David Linnell, of the Loughton Residents Association, said: “We are worried about these further delays because we do not know how much money will be left afterwards for the Debden Review.

Residents down there have waited long enough and are very angry.”

Councillor Penny Smith, Safer, Greener and Highways Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council said: "Councillors decided that they must proceed for the benefit of Epping, Buckhurst Hill and Debden despite the significant increase in costs at a time when councils are trying to save millions of pounds from their budgets.

"Without the capacity or resources to do all three reviews simultaneously, the only choice was to do one after another. I am sure the residents of Debden have very good reasons for arguing they should be first. I am also sure the residents of Epping and Buckhurst Hill would be just as able to argue in favour of their areas if asked. I am always happy to listen and if there are ways we can improve the process I am open to suggestions.

"Given much greater resources, councillors would undoubtedly have wished to complete all three reviews much more quickly but in the current economic climate all councils have to look carefully at spending. For me, the top priority is not the order in which the reviews take place, but ensuring we complete them all properly.

"Technically, reviews are very complicated to deliver and by their nature they generate a great deal of public response. In taking public comments into account wherever we can it does take more time."

Click here to follow the Epping Forest Guardian on Twitter

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:44pm Sat 8 Oct 11

pan says...

This as with many other local issues has been dragging on for quiet some time now.
The residents of the roads surrounding Debden station have not seen any progress towards a solution for years.
Prior to an election you will hear declarations that its all in hand and that its being sorted out yet nothing happens.
The LRA can not keep claiming anything that does get done is down to them and anything that doesn't is the fault of the Conservative led council its getting boring and predictable they have enough representation to have done something by now.
The problem faced here is the dissipation of parking commuters to surrounding roads if and when a scheme ever gets introduced. As it stands many people who live close but not on top of the station do not see the need for a scheme until one gets introduced and the problem gets pushed out to other roads.
The expansion of the college has had a major impact to this problem as well as many people use the same roads to park for the college as the station.
The new car parks behind the Broadway have also pushed out people who will not pay to park into side roads to avoid a small fee. You can often see spaces behind the Broadway available yet roads such as Torrington drive with no spaces at all.
Even the now closed Winston Churchill pub car park gets used by commuters and students.
I would like to see this problem addressed along side the planned development for the retail park in Langston road. This could cause further parking problems once it has been built.
Regeneration schemes can be good for the community but we seem to constantly see shortsighted planning, broken promises and misleading statements that its all in hand.
The Olympics could be the straw that breaks the Camels back in this instance as it could bring more people into the area to park and get the train into London.
We must not and can not afford to keep on developing areas with an overloaded infrastructure without taking some drastic measures to ensure that the people that live here and pay their council taxes get fair value for money and get taken into account when the decisions to "improve" our area are made.
There are areas that are suitable for parking but any parking scheme seems to become revenue based. We have seen our local car parks get taken control of by bonus hungry parking dictators keen to spoil you day. (but as I have seen let their friends park unhindered and illegally)
Yes we do desperately need parking restrictions in some of the side roads but do we need to allow uncontrollable wardens the chance to widen their nets further in their daily prowl around the town?
The station needs better and affordable parking, the college needs to make better provisions for its car parking requirements and any further developments must be made to ensure that it provides adequate parking spaces before it is allowed planning approval.
Why should the long suffering people in these roads have to wait until Epping and Buckhurst hill decide what they want before Loughton gets a look in?
The Loughton Residents Association should be concerned about Loughton. I think that they have taken on to many seats and positions in the council and as a result have lost the ability to stand up for Loughton. They have become victims of their own success.
I vote for my Councillors to represent my views and opinions and to speak on my behalf I don't vote for them to become representatives and agents for the council and to defend the council to me.
This as with many other local issues has been dragging on for quiet some time now. The residents of the roads surrounding Debden station have not seen any progress towards a solution for years. Prior to an election you will hear declarations that its all in hand and that its being sorted out yet nothing happens. The LRA can not keep claiming anything that does get done is down to them and anything that doesn't is the fault of the Conservative led council its getting boring and predictable they have enough representation to have done something by now. The problem faced here is the dissipation of parking commuters to surrounding roads if and when a scheme ever gets introduced. As it stands many people who live close but not on top of the station do not see the need for a scheme until one gets introduced and the problem gets pushed out to other roads. The expansion of the college has had a major impact to this problem as well as many people use the same roads to park for the college as the station. The new car parks behind the Broadway have also pushed out people who will not pay to park into side roads to avoid a small fee. You can often see spaces behind the Broadway available yet roads such as Torrington drive with no spaces at all. Even the now closed Winston Churchill pub car park gets used by commuters and students. I would like to see this problem addressed along side the planned development for the retail park in Langston road. This could cause further parking problems once it has been built. Regeneration schemes can be good for the community but we seem to constantly see shortsighted planning, broken promises and misleading statements that its all in hand. The Olympics could be the straw that breaks the Camels back in this instance as it could bring more people into the area to park and get the train into London. We must not and can not afford to keep on developing areas with an overloaded infrastructure without taking some drastic measures to ensure that the people that live here and pay their council taxes get fair value for money and get taken into account when the decisions to "improve" our area are made. There are areas that are suitable for parking but any parking scheme seems to become revenue based. We have seen our local car parks get taken control of by bonus hungry parking dictators keen to spoil you day. (but as I have seen let their friends park unhindered and illegally) Yes we do desperately need parking restrictions in some of the side roads but do we need to allow uncontrollable wardens the chance to widen their nets further in their daily prowl around the town? The station needs better and affordable parking, the college needs to make better provisions for its car parking requirements and any further developments must be made to ensure that it provides adequate parking spaces before it is allowed planning approval. Why should the long suffering people in these roads have to wait until Epping and Buckhurst hill decide what they want before Loughton gets a look in? The Loughton Residents Association should be concerned about Loughton. I think that they have taken on to many seats and positions in the council and as a result have lost the ability to stand up for Loughton. They have become victims of their own success. I vote for my Councillors to represent my views and opinions and to speak on my behalf I don't vote for them to become representatives and agents for the council and to defend the council to me. pan

9:32pm Sat 8 Oct 11

hursthill says...

Pan - Councillors also have to represent voters who have different views & opinions to yourself, & speak on their behalf. But since you are so sure you are right why don't you stand at the next election ?
Pan - Councillors also have to represent voters who have different views & opinions to yourself, & speak on their behalf. But since you are so sure you are right why don't you stand at the next election ? hursthill

9:07am Sun 9 Oct 11

pan says...

I may well do, How do you know I haven't already?
I may well do, How do you know I haven't already? pan

5:02pm Sun 9 Oct 11

barry.johnston5@ntlworld.com says...

I am a member of the LRA, I do not live in an ivory tower in fact I am a resident of Torrington Drive and I am the person quoted in the above piece. I have tried every which way to try and get the Conservatives to change their minds. I am in contact with Jennie Hart, Councillor for the Brodway on a regular basis and she tells me the utter frustration of trying to get Penny Smith,
The conservative Portfolio Holder responsible for parking: pennysmith@btinterne
t.com
to get her to change the order for parking reviews and put Debden first, but Penny Smith in her wisdom has said the decision cannot be reversed. Good job a Conservative Councillor does not live down here, might be a different decision.
My personal view is, The Conservatives see Epping and Buckhurst Hill as their homeland and Debden, well it's a council estate, it's not that important.
Must keep on trying to apply the pressure. I will continue to try and be a thorn in their sides, after all we did get the jockey rails in Torrington Drive.
I am a member of the LRA, I do not live in an ivory tower in fact I am a resident of Torrington Drive and I am the person quoted in the above piece. I have tried every which way to try and get the Conservatives to change their minds. I am in contact with Jennie Hart, Councillor for the Brodway on a regular basis and she tells me the utter frustration of trying to get Penny Smith, The conservative Portfolio Holder responsible for parking: pennysmith@btinterne t.com to get her to change the order for parking reviews and put Debden first, but Penny Smith in her wisdom has said the decision cannot be reversed. Good job a Conservative Councillor does not live down here, might be a different decision. My personal view is, The Conservatives see Epping and Buckhurst Hill as their homeland and Debden, well it's a council estate, it's not that important. Must keep on trying to apply the pressure. I will continue to try and be a thorn in their sides, after all we did get the jockey rails in Torrington Drive. barry.johnston5@ntlworld.com

6:54am Mon 10 Oct 11

pan says...

Barry, The "jockey fence" has helped in Torrington drive, no doubt about that but the LRA were not the only people pushing for a solution to the amount of cars parking on the grass there. Again was it all down to the LRA?
There were other groups also pushing for a solution to the issue.
You have admitted there that it is the Conservatives in your opinion that are responsible for the parking reviews so they will also be responsible for any improvements that we eventually get? No the LRA will claim them as their result.
This is silly, its a predictable game of tit for tat.
Such as the "review" that is currently circulating Torrington drive regarding the Sainsburys shopping precinct in the Broadway.
All things council do not happen quickly. This means that the decision to make this a larger parking area has either been made or is likely to be. If as you say its the Conservatives that hold the trump card then lets wait and see if the project gets support it will be an LRA gain if it doesn't it will be a conservative mistake. However in your own words the cons will be making and are responsible for the decision.
No body thinks that the LRA doesnt work hard, they do. No body thinks that a group of local residents pulling together and looking out for their local area is a bad thing, its a good thing.
There is however an increasing number of people that think the LRA have been responsible for a whole host of wild and misleading statements about exactly what they have done and what they can really claim as a victory. Usually just prior to an election.
If you like I will post a good few of broken promises and declarations that I believe to be misleading.
Barry, The "jockey fence" has helped in Torrington drive, no doubt about that but the LRA were not the only people pushing for a solution to the amount of cars parking on the grass there. Again was it all down to the LRA? There were other groups also pushing for a solution to the issue. You have admitted there that it is the Conservatives in your opinion that are responsible for the parking reviews so they will also be responsible for any improvements that we eventually get? No the LRA will claim them as their result. This is silly, its a predictable game of tit for tat. Such as the "review" that is currently circulating Torrington drive regarding the Sainsburys shopping precinct in the Broadway. All things council do not happen quickly. This means that the decision to make this a larger parking area has either been made or is likely to be. If as you say its the Conservatives that hold the trump card then lets wait and see if the project gets support it will be an LRA gain if it doesn't it will be a conservative mistake. However in your own words the cons will be making and are responsible for the decision. No body thinks that the LRA doesnt work hard, they do. No body thinks that a group of local residents pulling together and looking out for their local area is a bad thing, its a good thing. There is however an increasing number of people that think the LRA have been responsible for a whole host of wild and misleading statements about exactly what they have done and what they can really claim as a victory. Usually just prior to an election. If you like I will post a good few of broken promises and declarations that I believe to be misleading. pan

8:03am Mon 10 Oct 11

barry.johnston5@ntlworld.com says...

Pan,
Yes please, post the broken promises and I will take them to the next meeting and get a response.
Regards,
Barry.
Pan, Yes please, post the broken promises and I will take them to the next meeting and get a response. Regards, Barry. barry.johnston5@ntlworld.com

9:11am Mon 10 Oct 11

Miss Magoo says...

I recall being sent a Parking Review letter by the council many years ago, including a detailed map of the allocated parking spaces, however, it was so poorly thought out - i.e. 10 houses and only 4 spaces allocated with numerous double-yellows painted everywhere - that many people voiced their dislike and the whole process has ground to a halt.

Yes, station car parks need to be cheaper BUT they could charge 10p for a whole day and you would STILL get some car drivers park down residential streets. Sadly, that's the price you pay if you live near a station. I used to live a 20min walk from a football stadium and had to accept the fact that on 'home' match days, I couldn't use my car or if I did, I wouldn't be able to park anywhere near my house until 7pm that evening.

All that this parking review (residents parking) will do is push the problem out to another cluster of streets in Debden and before long, we'll end up killing local retailers through the overuse of resident permit parking zones.
I recall being sent a Parking Review letter by the council many years ago, including a detailed map of the allocated parking spaces, however, it was so poorly thought out - i.e. 10 houses and only 4 spaces allocated with numerous double-yellows painted everywhere - that many people voiced their dislike and the whole process has ground to a halt. Yes, station car parks need to be cheaper BUT they could charge 10p for a whole day and you would STILL get some car drivers park down residential streets. Sadly, that's the price you pay if you live near a station. I used to live a 20min walk from a football stadium and had to accept the fact that on 'home' match days, I couldn't use my car or if I did, I wouldn't be able to park anywhere near my house until 7pm that evening. All that this parking review (residents parking) will do is push the problem out to another cluster of streets in Debden and before long, we'll end up killing local retailers through the overuse of resident permit parking zones. Miss Magoo

10:57am Mon 10 Oct 11

hursthill says...

Miss Magoo... you are absolutely right.
Parking reviews produce the following result - :
50% of voters are happy.
50% of voters are unhappy.
Miss Magoo... you are absolutely right. Parking reviews produce the following result - : 50% of voters are happy. 50% of voters are unhappy. hursthill

10:11am Wed 12 Oct 11

leyton_man says...

I got a letter from the council the other day about a residents scheme in the Barclay Estate area.

It mentions problems for residents due to the school and hospital, despite the majority of the area being fairly car empty during the times they suggest having the scheme in place.

I did some rough calculations based on the proposed charges supplied to me.

Based on one car per house (less than 3000cc), ten percent owning two cars, and vouchers allowing 30 friends/family to visit a year, would be roughly £100,000 a year the council could expect to pocket.

I'm sure this windfall every year couldn't possibly influence a cash-strapped borough though, could it?
I got a letter from the council the other day about a residents scheme in the Barclay Estate area. It mentions problems for residents due to the school and hospital, despite the majority of the area being fairly car empty during the times they suggest having the scheme in place. I did some rough calculations based on the proposed charges supplied to me. Based on one car per house (less than 3000cc), ten percent owning two cars, and vouchers allowing 30 friends/family to visit a year, would be roughly £100,000 a year the council could expect to pocket. I'm sure this windfall every year couldn't possibly influence a cash-strapped borough though, could it? leyton_man

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree