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Otford Car Park

Discussion in 'Otford' started by Otford Parish Council, Dec 8, 2008. Replies: 14 | Views: 11302


Your Preference for Otford Car Park Scheme

Poll closed Jan 30, 2009.
  1. Current Scheme

    0 vote(s)
  2. Scheme 1

    0 vote(s)
  3. Scheme 2

    4 vote(s)
  4. Another Alternative - Please comment

    0 vote(s)
  1. Otford Car Park

    Following a suggestion by a resident at the Annual Parish Meeting, the Parish Council has been considering a ‘one way‛ system in the High Street car park.

    Designs have been produced by a Parish Councillor and can be viewed in the Parish Council office together with a copy of the current layout. The designs would involve taking a small piece of the Recreation Ground and obtaining planning consent for change of use to car parking. One design would involve the overall loss of two car parking spaces, even with the extra piece of land, the other would involve an overall loss of eight spaces. However with the extra piece of land, assuming planning consent could be obtained, and with the existing plan, four extra spaces could be added.

    Please let us have your views. The plans can be viewed during normal office hours until January 30th.

    Current Scheme

    Scheme 1

    Scheme 2
  2. David Tudor

    David Tudor New Member

    Otford Car Park

    My preference would be for Scheme 1.

    Parking slots at an angle facilitate parking (and exiting) compared to "straight" parking slots. Moreover, angled bays help to reinforce the one-way system, insofar as it would be extremely difficult to park cleanly in an angled bay if approaching from the wrong direction!

    Easier parking and smoother traffic flow - Scheme 1 gets my vote.
  3. Ron Dullage

    Ron Dullage New Member

    First, I should express an interest. I am the Hall Manager of Otford Village Memorial Hall and have been a Trustee for twenty years.

    As the Parish Council are very aware, I continue to be a strong advocate for the introduction of a pay and display system in the car park. I fervently believe that this is the only realistic option to resolve the over-crowding issues in the car park. The introduction of Scheme 1 would make it easier for users to navigate their way around the car park and find any available spaces more easily. However, it is not going to remove the problem of the lack of available spaces when there are several football matches, cricket matches, organised rambles, etc, etc occupying most of the available spaces in the car park. It also seems impossible to get any of these groups (and I include organisations using the Village Hall) to introduce car sharing schemes and to arrive with more than one person in each car.

    I understand that there are issues for the cricket club (and possibly others) with regard to pay and display but, if the will is there to introduce such a scheme, these relatively minor obstacles can be overcome.

    Scheme 1 will be an improvement on what we have currently but I urge the Parish Council to re-consider their objections to pay and display as I see this as the only long-term solution to a continuing problem.
  4. mrsm

    mrsm New Member

    car park

    I am against pay and display, believing that the car park should be free to its residents.there are also those of us who need to use the car park as facilities at work in terms of parking are inadequate.I would object to having to pay to come to work each day.
  5. Debbiedooda

    Debbiedooda New Member

    Car Park Scheme

    I feel that the problem with the traffic flow of the car park is due to lack of spaces in the first place. Otford village has many clubs and activities, the popularity of the village itself creates demand for parking space. The one way system would at least let you drive around the car park until you find a space so scheme 1 is better as the angled spaces make you go in the right direction. But these one way systems only work if you have room to over take a stubborn driver who refuses to move on which frequently happens in Sevenoaks. I have been a daily user for the past year (Gatehouse Nursery St Bartholomews Hall) and have noticed that the lack of spaces is a major concern rather than traffic flow, there are many days when i am blocked in by other users who then go off to their various clubs. I agree with Ron Dullage. Pay and display may even encourage more people to walk or share it would also discourage drivers avoiding the station car park. There are many ways to impliment pay and display and i think these should also be considered by consultation with the regular users and local businesses.
  6. mrsm

    mrsm New Member

    Those of us who need the car park for work could be issued with permits. Also the relocation of the recycle bins would free up at least 2 spaces and stop congestion as the council van parks alongside it each week reducing the traffic to one way flow.Also I would like to make the point that the school has a rising role and numbers are set to go up - so increasing the amount of parking spaces needs to be a priority
  7. Ron Dullage

    Ron Dullage New Member

    Car Park Pay and Display

    Why, mrsm, do you have the right to expect to be able to park in the village, at no cost, because you work here? I am not averse to the Parish Council issuing season tickets at, shall we say, £5.00 a week (approx. 72p per day!) as long as the applicant can prove that they have a justifiable reason for needing to park in the car park for longer than the, suggested, 2 or 3-hour free period. Try parking at the station and see how much that costs you!!!!!

    I also think that this should be the case for those cottages on the south side of the High Street who have no individual parking of their own. If you buy a property that has no parking space and you expect to park on someone else's land every day and night I believe that you should pay for the pleasure. I pay for my garage/off-road parking in my Council Tax every month and, I would suggest, that this is probably more than £5.00 a week!

    Something has got to be done about this car park. It has now been enlarged no less than five times and if you concrete over the entire recreation ground it would still fill up! Car parks act like a magnet - the more spaces that you have available, the more people will come and use it.

    If more people, and I am thinking especially of those parents who do the school run, would walk down to the village it would a) improve their health and b) free up a lot of spaces in the car park. As I have said previously, I have been trying to get people using the Village Hall to car share but this is not always easy as they come from a wide geographical area. The school run, etc tends to be within a matter of less than a one mile radius.
  8. mrsm

    mrsm New Member

    Not quite sure your tone is necessary.I was simply stating the fact that the car park is for the residents of otford and i am not in favour of charging evryone, young or old for its use - like some other money grabbing parishes.
  9. Ron Dullage

    Ron Dullage New Member

    My justification of pay and display!

    It is regrettable if you find my tone "unnecessary" but the situation with the car park is something that I (and many other residents in the village) feel very strongly about.

    Personally, I don't have a problem with people who work in the village parking there. That is a perfectly valid reason for using the car park. My reason for wanting to introduce pay and display is that village residents, via their rates, poll tax, council tax or whatever, have paid out many tens of thousands of pounds over the years to enlarge, re-surface, re-mark, etc the car park. Why should it be down to residents alone to finance the upkeep of this valuable resource when, I would suggest, that the majority of the people who use it do not live in the village?

    Of course, if you are talking about the car park you cannot ignore the fact that there are many occasions during a week when the car park is full. I readily accept that some of these people are attending events in the Village Memorial Hall. The introduction of pay and display would, undoubtedly, free up spaces and, you never know, may encourage people to drive to the village with more than one person in their car!

    On the subject of "tone", I find it hard to swallow your description of those other local authorities who have introduced such schemes as "money-grabbing". Just because they are looking to alleviate the load placed on their local residents by getting users of their car parks to assist with the cost of the upkeep and to try to ensure that there are spaces available for when people wish to use them does not qualify in my book as "money-grabbing".
  10. Barbara Darby

    Barbara Darby New Member

    barbara darby (video)

    I agree with Ron that no 1 design is preferable for maintaining movement around the carpark.I also feel that if a really good ticket scheme could be dreamed up( there must be someone out there) where the first half hour was free, people attending village funtions and villagers had discounts , people using it as a cheaper version to the station carpark were penalised and some of the money collected went to the Parish council instead of the parking meter company then a payment scheme would be a good idea.
    How do other village councils do it.
  11. John E-W

    John E-W New Member

    Otford car park

    Its interesting looking at some of the arguments for and against changes to the car parking system.

    System 1 (parking at 45 degrees) will simplify routing to the bays and hopefully make it easier and therefore quicker to park. It will eliminate all the to-ing and fro-ing whilst people try and reverse in or out of a bay placed at right angles to the main traffic corridor. It is interesting to note that the majority of subscribers to this forum have voted for that system. However, it will result in a loss of parking spaces - maybe 7 – (the only way to determine the exact loss is to mark it out and that cannot easily be done until the car park is empty).

    Keeping the entrance clear is a “must” although most drivers ignore yellow boxes and the words “Keep Clear” as is evident by the ignorant drivers at the Tilcon entrance at Bat and Ball – I’m not sure what can be done about blind ignorance.

    The Armco barrier on the entrance requires re-profiling to make the approach and entrance from Pilgrims Way West easier – even if it means reducing the number of bays immediately adjacent to the entrance.

    Maybe at the same time we should consider replacing the Zebra crossing with a Pelican crossing, so that the traffic and pedestrians can flow in a controlled manner.

    There has been a “pay and display” scheme suggested by some of the councilors, (subsequently turned down by the main council) with up to 3 hours free and then at 50p/hr, but a ticket would be required at all times – something that parents picking up children would apparently not be prepared to do as they would be in too much of a rush. The system would have been run independently of the OPC and would cost nothing to administer – the contractor would make his money from the fines collected!! I cannot understand why Otford should supply car users with a free facility – workers and shoppers have to pay in Sevenoaks, as do the residents in some of the central streets, hospitals charge, some hotels charge – why should we expect to get it free?. Car sharing might be difficult, but its not impossible, just takes a bit of organizing and forethought.
  12. m&p-forrester

    m&p-forrester New Member

    Otford Car Park

    Our vote is for scheme 1 but the herring bone parking on the left as you enter the car park are likely not to be used properly as drivers will inevitably want to turn towards the road as they reverse out of their parking slot. Confusion will rein and it might be better to accept the inevitable and leave the parking her as square and thereby gain one space.

    As for parking metering and charging - we could learn from the parking arrangements in Dartford where all cars have to obtain a ticket by enterring their registration and place the ticket on the dash but it is only free for 2 hours after which a penalty applies unless a longer period has been purchassed at the outset. After 6 pm it could be free!

    This would solve the commuter parking and other longterm parking that occurs at present whilst allowing free parking for all residents that attend daytime and evening functions.
  13. David Holmes

    David Holmes New Member

    I do not really like any of the proposals as they all fail (what I see as) the most basic necessities:

    1) Giving pedestrians safe access through the car park to the park/village hall
    2) Not leaving space that is not marked as a parking bay, but which someone might decide is room to park their car, and in doing so, blocking pedestrian access as well as other cars.

    These plans need to be reconsidered with pedestrian safety and access as paramount. And the cost needs to be made public. What else could we do with this money that would benefit people in the village more than a little bit of better traffic flow in the car park?

    Finally, more spaces will just encourage more car usage in the village (more pollution, more congestion, less safety for pedestrians & cyclists), is this what we really want?
  14. bigcat1

    bigcat1 New Member

    But would the cost of making it a pay and display be more than the revenue collected if tickets for residents are so cheap? If it is pay and display it will need to be monitored, lit at night and monies collected. Also to avoid cofusion it should be the same rate to park all the time for all who park. It should remain free though. Seems silly to change it. Must have been a parish councilers idea.....
  15. Ron Dullage

    Ron Dullage New Member

    Where do these objections come from?

    I hope that you, dear reader, will bear with me if I respond to previous posts but as one who feels passionately about this I would like to reply.

    In response to David Holmes points, first, we should bear in mind that this is a car park. Sure, we need to be conscious of the safety of pedestrians but there is a responsibility upon such pedestrians (and drivers getting out of vehicles) to be careful when walking across the car park where cars are going to be manoevering.

    Secondly, in terms of cost and return on investment, the estimated costs were reasonably low, in fact less than the repairs to the toilets I would suggest. (Those toilets that are used almost exclusively by non-residents and that you are paying for as part of your council tax!) After a relatively short time the scheme would be, initially, self-funding and then, subsequently, profit-making. Any profits could then be put towards other worthy causes in the village.

    Regards allowing access to the Recreation Ground and the Village Hall, can I point out that you can access both of these locations from the High Street without walking across the car park. If you enter by the front of the Church Hall (inside the wooden fence) and then turn right by the recycling bins to walk along (inside the armco) by the side of the toilets you arrive at the Village Hall. If you then walk up alongside the Club Room (again inside the armco) you get to the Recreation Ground without so much as taking one step on the car park.

    Finally, the idea is not to increase car usage or to increase the number of spaces in the car park. The object is to stop people parking their cars there and leaving them there for excessive periods of time and even all day. A higher turnover of vehicles in the car park will free up spaces making it easier to park for everyone.

    In response to bigcat1, OK, I accept that enforcement is an possible issue but this is not insurmountable. I am sure that we could come up with some proposals if necessary. Why does it need to be lit any more than it is already? Yes, I agree that the monies in the meter will need to be collected but is that a really onerous task once a day? The charging system that was proposed was along the lines of the first three hours free and then, say, £1.00 per hour thereafter. I personally don't think that this is a particularly challenging concept for people to get their heads around. In many people's opinion maintaining the status quo is just not an option as there are going to be more and more cars trying to park there and the problem is just going to exacerbate. Funnily enough, the person who put forward the proposal is an ex-parish councillor who wants to see things happening!

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