YOUR ACTION REQUIRED BY 8th JUNE – Please read the information below and then use the email link to the right to object to (or support) the proposal.
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UPDATES – If you have read this page already then please read the updates HERE
For many years Frank Pearson (one of our just re-elected Winchester City Councillors) has been trying to get additional yellow lines through the main part of Swanmore.
In the last two years he has been pushing hard and Swanmore will get more yellow lines unless enough people register an objection before 8th June 2016.
Why are these new traffic parking controls being proposed?
The problem is seen to be the delays driving through the village when parents park to drop off and collect children from the primary school. Morning drop off being less of a problem than in the afternoon.
It is true that driving through the village at these times can take an extra minute or two.
What is being Proposed?
Look at the plan below to see the details (click to get larger version).
In summary the existing single yellow lines are being extended and changed to double yellow lines, new single lines are being added down in front of the Brickmakers Pub, lines outside Swanmore College and ‘School Keep Clear’ Marks in front of the primary school.
Nobody objects to the ‘School Keep Clear’ markings as requested by the primary school. But that is all they have requested.
We don’t have any information on what Swanmore College have requested.
Background and research:
In a meeting with Frank Pearson in September 2015 he made three key points:
- He was pushing for the yellow lines due to the number of complaints received
- That this was a solution for an urban area. On being questioned on this he stated that Swanmore could be classified as a town (two churches, two halls etc). He didn’t agree that Swanmroe was rural.
- The problem was caused by about 60 – 100 cars
In response to the first point two Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests were then sent to Winchester City Council and Swanmore Parish Council asking for the number of complaints received over the last 5 years.
The responses were:
Winchester City Council – ZERO complaints received
Swanmore Parish Council – ZERO complaints received
So complaints cannot be used as a valid reason!
There is no doubt that this solution is urban in it’s ferocity. Swanmore is a village and should be treated as appropriate for a rural environment. Given all the recent house building, approved by our councillors, perhaps the objective is to urbanise Swanmore?
Since the FOI requests the excuse changed from being driven by complaints to one of safety, and that the primary school supports the proposal. Sounds reasonable perhaps? Well the school only want zig zag lines outside the school buildings and of course traffic speeds are likely to increase, as mentioned by the police, with this proposal.
So what do the Parish Council say?
In a meeting with Xavier Kingsland the chair of the council he said that the objective of the proposal was to reduce the number of parents who live in Swanmore driving to drop off and collect their children to/from the primary school. He outlined the many things the council had done to reduce this but to little effect. The parking restrictions would force parents to park at home and walk their children to school. Sounds reasonable perhaps? The question that neither Frank Pearson or the parish councillors have asked is how many of the primary schools pupils are from out of catchment (don’t live in Swanmore). The answer is about 50% around 200 children. So there are two hundred children who cannot easily walk to school!
Frank Pearson was asked if he knew the answer to this question – and he didn’t.
The proposed parking restrictions may well put people off sending their children to the primary school.
Where will the cars affected go?
With the large number of children from out of catchment parents will still need to drive. So the cars will still come and have to park outside of the yellow line areas. This will just move the problem not fix it. And what will our councillors solution to that be?
If you have been in Swanmore when a large funeral was being held at the church or a parents event at the primary school on a school day you will have experienced what happens when cars park outside of the proposed yellow line zone. With the new parking controls in place, and the limited parking available, the majority of people attending school events, funerals in the church etc will have to park at least 3 – 400 metres away, and perhaps a lot further. This will then encourage parents to come even earlier to get the closest parking spaces.
Why double yellow lines?
The double yellow lines were specifically requested by Frank Pearson.
Double yellow lines are in effect for 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
Doesn’t this sound overkill for a problem that happens for 20 – 30 minutes, 5 days a week for 39 weeks of the year?
Perceived problem: 39 weeks x 5 days x 30 minutes = 97.5 hours per annum
Proposed solution: 52 weeks x 7 days x 24 hours = 8736 hours per annum
If this really needs yellow lines to fix the problem (and few people believe it does) then why not have single lines timed at school drop off and pick up only?
Reasons for the Yellow Lines:
To reduce the short delays some people experience on school days.
Reasons against the Yellow Lines:
Will move the problem, not fix it.
Solution is out of proportion to the perceived problem.
Negative effect on primary school.
Safety may be reduced by an increase in traffic speed.
Outside of school collection/drop off times Swanmore will be a ‘clear run’ for cars and lorries. It is likely we will see a year on year increase in traffic using Swanmore as a short cut.
Negative effect on house prices and attractiveness of the village.
Detrimental impact to the village, shops, pub, school, church and villagers.
Swanmore is a village – the proposal is an urban solution
Alternative solutions have not been investigated.
Traffic surveys have not been completed to verify councillor perceptions.
The councillors have not done any form of modelling or impact assessment on the impact of these proposals.
Is there another solution?
Yes there is – extend the existing car park near the school(the land at the back of it is owned by Hampshire County Council).
The creation a drop off zone in the car park, in addition to extending it, could provide access to the rear of the school (and perhaps the front as well) reducing the time cars have to stay in the car park.
This car park is now full most of the school day so not many parents can park in it. This has got worse over the years due to the reduced number of parking places at the school for staff and an increase in the school staff. So many of the car parking places that parent used to use are no longer available and they have to park on the road.
Extending this car park is an obvious solution with many advantages outside of school days when events are held in the village, church and the Paterson Centre.
Yes this will have a cost, but what will the cost be to the life and soul of Swanmore of the yellow line proposals?
Why isn’t this being investigated? Good question! Perhaps they want it for more houses?
Many people feel that these proposals have little to do with the reasons being stated by the councillors but are part of a bigger idea to open up Swanmore for future development.
Whether this is true or not it is likely that if implemented the village will change for ever, the heart being destroyed, an increase in traffic, and an impact on residents, visitors, the primary school and local businesses.
Did you know that Swanmore has the highest council tax of any of the Winchester City Council areas? And this is what the council want to give us in return. Where are the proposals for a car park extension?
Don’t let this happen – email your concerns NOW!
Initial draft by Mark Johnson, additional input from other Swanmore residents.
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