No issue has caused more debate in Haslemere than what measures we should take to manage the impact of parking on the look and feel of the town, on the quality of life of its residents, on the vibrancy of the local economy and on the enjoyment of the town by visitors. The trade-offs involved are many and complex. There is no simple “right” answer. In the space of this brief article we cannot adequately address all the relevant considerations but, in a community consultation survey that will be sent to every household in late June, Haslemere Vision will seek your views on the many options that have been identified. Here we focus on commuter and residents’ parking.
Haslemere Station attracts 3,000 rail users and 900 cars every weekday. About 550 use car parks and the remainder park on roads. Substantial growth in demand is forecast because of housing growth in the station’s catchment area. Should we seek to reduce that growth by:
• favouring housing development within walking or cycling distance of the station,
• improving access for cyclists and pedestrians,
• encouraging park and ride, electric cycle hire and car sharing schemes
• making commuter parking more expensive?
Another option might be to increase parking capacity, by the addition of one or more levels to existing car parks and opening the car park on the north side of the station but to offset this by reducing on-street all-day provision by a similar amount with a parking permit scheme for local residents and those who work in Haslemere.
Alternatively, should we accept that growth in commuter parking is inevitable and plan to accommodate it by supporting the provision of additional off-street parking capacity without making any changes to on-street parking provision other than reacting to demands for residents-only parking on a street-by-street basis?
Future housing development in Haslemere could also lead to a significant increase in on-street parking. To minimise any increase developers must, at least, be required to follow the W B C Parking Guidelines for residential developments published in October 2013. Should we propose an increase in the in the parking guidelines? In addition to residents’ parking spaces within the curtilage of the property developers should developers be required to provide safe storage for cycles and and/or contribute to other green transport projects.
Should we propose the introduction of further zoned parking areas for residents in order to restrict parking in some key streets to the residents living within the street or, if desired, in a wider zone? The implications of the displacement of non-residents already parking in such streets would need to be carefully considered before such restrictions were introduced.
What do you think? Let us know your views by completing the survey you that Royal Mail will deliver to you later this month!
Meanwhile look out for our next article that will look in more detail at access and parking in the town centre